A green valentine

February 14, 2012 - 10:20 PM by

Heart-shaped leaves in the gan classroom

So yes, it’s Valentine’s Day. And I’m undecided about how I feel now that this Hallmark holiday — okay, with Roman roots — seems to have reached Israel’s shores. Sure, what’s the big deal? Always a good thing to celebrate love, whether it’s for a loved one, a friend, a family member. Maybe it’s that upbringing of mine in the U.S. that pretty much shunned Valentine’s Day, as a non-Jewish holiday, akin to Halloween. I tend to think it’s silly, that you should think about love and showing it every day of the year, even when it’s tough to do.

So I wasn’t thinking about roses or chocolates, even when I heard more than radio announcer talking about it, or saw more than one person walking down the street with bouquets of red flowers.

But then my kids’ ganenet showed me a tree branch that she brought into school with her today. She’s a kibbutznik, third generation I believe, and loves to walk from her house in Kibbutz Ramat Rachel to the gan, about a 15-minute walk, checking out trees and flowers and all kinds of flora and fauna along the way. That’s where she finds cool nature items that she then works into her playtime with the kids, as well as their arts and crafts.

The branch was full of green, heart-shaped leaves, really perfect hearts, but in a lovely, mossy green, not the kitschy, cherry red that we’re so accustomed to over Valentine’s Day. She knows how much I appreciate her finds, and thought I’d like this one too, which I did. They also cut out heart shapes from apple skins for snacktime, and while I could have lived without that, I can live with it too.

So happy Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t have to be about loving a life partner, but maybe just loving parts of life.


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