Last weekend, Noah and I walked back from Rabbi Goorman’s house after his Purim sleepover. While crossing the ravine, just after the small bridge, I spotted a young sprout shooting off the ground on the side of the path. It was maybe 5 centimeters tall – at most – but of an incredibly bright tender green, contrasting sharply with the frozen mud and dark snow around it.
I showed it to Noah with great excitement. “Look Noah; spring is here!” He asked me what plant it was. I said: “It is probably the first wild crocus of the year … we are so lucky!” “Great,” he said, moving on. He was, as always, very much in his fantasy world, talking to himself and laughing at his imaginary friends as he usually does when walking in the ravine. I could see him walking ahead of me, shooting arrows and blocking swords with his silver shield.
A few days passed. Spring indeed seemed to be on the way. Robins and turtledoves flew back to the Canadian lifecycle and filled my heart with a reassuring sense of earthly eternity.
Unfortunately, on Tuesday night, winter came back with a vengeance. Snow blanketed everything. It was beautiful still, although as Lindy always says, “No longer wanted …”
The next day, when I picked up Noah, it took me 45 minutes to drive to his school – a trip that usually takes me 10 minutes. I got there late. He was waiting for me patiently in the snow. When we got in the car, I told him that I was sorry to be late, but that winter was truly back in full force and had slowed everything down to a crawl. (Have you ever noticed that when it snows, everything seem to be truly slowing down, like in an old slow-motion black and white movie?)
As we started driving back towards home, fighting the traffic, suddenly Noah screamed: “Oh noooo!”. I said: “What happened?” thinking that he may have seen an old lady slipping on the sidewalk. He said: “The little flower … in the ravine … Oh noooo …” with such concern and distress in his voice that it melted my heart instantly.
How did he even remember about the little flower? How does one have in his heart so much love and concern for all living things?
As we drove on thought the falling snow, I reassured him. Told him that these hardy little Canadian plants have seen winters a lot worse than this one. I told him not to worry … that it would be OK, bright and green the very next day.
At the same time, with renewed faith in mankind, I though to myself, what a wonderful world …