I read somewhere that in a single year the astronomer, Johannes Kepler experienced a great tragedy while also writing a book about snowflakes.
It was the winter of 1611. Kepler walked the streets of Linz. He had no place to go and too much on his mind. His wife and daughter had just died. War ran through his homeland, sending him to this exile. His eyes were so full of images of grief that he couldn't see beyond his face. That's how he noticed the flake, that one snow flake out of the tens of thousands that fell around him. Close up against his pupil he saw clean lines and a grace of construction.
"Six points of perfect symmetry," he said as the flake hit his cheek and forever melted. "Why six and not four or seven?"
Johannes looked out at the parallel lines of snow that passed before him. "Six is half of the apostles. It's three times two. A year ago there were three of us then I lost two. God must have a plan."
Johannes dropped to his knees. His hands turned red as he pushed through the cold powder, searching for a clue.
But underneath this pile of equally sided stars he found only pebbles and dirt.