The Snow Queen is a spiritual tale of love, loss, friendship and awakening. Whilst it was written by Hans Christian Andersen and published in 1844, elements of the fairytale appeared on our screens in recent years in the movie Frozen. Think cold hearts thawing and coming back to life and add a just a few pinches of religious messaging, and there you have The Snow Queen.
It is a seven part story focused on the friendship of two young children growing up next door to each other. Starting with the good old favourite – an enchanted mirror – the story weaves and turns as one child is (essentially) kidnapped. I’ll try and summarise the story in twenty-five words or less (well maybe a few more words than that!). The mirror reflects only dark magic and one day breaks. Years later a fragment of mirror gets into a little boys eye and he turns nasty. In the depths of winter, frustrated with how slow his sled is, he hitches a ride to the Snow Queen’s sleigh. She kisses the boy twice, deceiving him that a kiss will warm him up. Worried about her friend, a little girl goes searching; having enormous trouble finding her friend, she sets about on a quest to find him. After quite the adventure and a change of season, she does and all ends well. The ending is somewhat interesting in that Hans Christian Andersen does not change the two children in any way or share any insight into what they’ve each learned.
This story is one of hope and is perfect for today as it reflects the importance of reaching out to those we have not seen for a while (but have by no means forgotten). A lot of people I’ve spoken with lately are reflecting on how isolated they have become during the last 16 months. With social distancing, lockdowns and remote working, our lives have change significantly, and so have our behaviours.
Many of us used to be social and put effort in to maintaining our friendships through gathering together as regularly as we could. However, we have now decreased our social fitness – as I like to call it. Many of us have withdrawn, are focused on our immediate family and needs, with little time to reach out to others. The Snow Queen is a reminder that we should reach out to the friendships we may have disconnected from over the last year. Just like the boy in the story, it’s possible that our friends hearts need to again feel warmth.
The story is also a good reminder that there are periods of awakening. With seasonal change, milestone events or major change, it is a time to reflect and trust what the change will bring. We sometimes fight against change, comfortable with what we know; but change can offer a myriad of excitement, energy, opportunity and growth. The seasons of winter and spring are used to set the story of The Snow Queen – cold and warmth, death and life. Whilst the changes in our own lives may not be as dramatic, stop and reflect on what is changing around you and the awakening opportunity you’re being presented.