April 5, 2010

The Passover Tree

My next-door neighbors have a huge tree in their yard, bordering ours. I don't know what kind of tree it is, but it's a thing of majesty. It's gigantic, and every year in the early spring it blooms with millions of little white blossoms. (They look like apple blossoms, but they are pure white, and there are never any apples, so I'm not sure.)

Anyway, every year when this tree blossoms, it brings a smile to my face... first of all, it is GORGEOUS, and also it means that spring is coming!  And despite the crazy fluctuations of the Jewish holiday calendar, The Tree always seems to bloom right before Pesach. Then the blossoms are only there for a couple of weeks, before they suddenly fall away and make you wonder if you really saw them at all.  Sure enough, today the wind is blowing and as Pesach draws to a close, the blooms are being blown away. I welcome the completion of another Pesach, but I also feel a little sad as it passes away with the white petals.

Why does this feel so profound to me? The symbolism is so great... how brief and fleeting are the beautiful  moments of life! We need to take a minute to smell the proverbial roses when the opportunities arise.  How wonderful is the order (Seder) of the Universe, giving us comfort in the continuity of seasons and celebrations, and stability with which to face the unexpected.  How incomprehensible is the number of blooms on that one tree, and by extension... the people of the world, and the expanse of the Universe!  Puts your own life in perspective, doesn't it?

Who knew that a tree in someone else's yard  could make me wax so philosophical?  Well, you know, it's Pesach... for a little longer.

1 comment:

Dawn Kepler said...

Such a beautiful tree! I've seen them before; I recognize the blossoms. But I don't know what kind it is.

Your thought, Esther, make me a little sad. Everything is so fleeting. I'm going to go turn my compost pile for a bit of comfort. xx