I was chatting with Liz, one of my closest friends, last week. She said, “You know how we Jews have a blessing for everything? So I’m driving down the street, thinking about how gorgeous the weather is, and how I need to look up the prayer for when you first see a tree flower in the spring.”
“The what?” I asked, disbelieving, “You have a prayer specifically for when you see a tree flower?”
“Yeah. Isn’t that cool?”
I thought it most definitely was. “So I’m in the car, and next thing I know I see this tree in a courtyard down the street.” Liz paused and flicked through some photos on her phone.
I smiled, recognizing the place.
“I screech the brakes, pull over, bentsch (pray) and offer gratitude for the wealth of natural beauty, and the coming of spring. And then, as I drive to the Upper West Side, to Harlem, and back home, I saw lots of trees of various kinds. All for the pleasure of man. Lucky us!”
“What’s the prayer?” I inquired. I love the idea that someone, somewhere, recognized that this particular joy is an annual thing, and that our gratitude for the end of winter and the start of spring needs to be directed God-ward. Liz sent me this link. I thought I’d share it, since trees are blooming all over these days. And because anything that brings us joy deserves a prayer. And, well, because I think it’s really cool.