Last weekend we came out of hibernation long enough to drive down to New York City. Our efforts were rewarded by some actual, real-live spring weather. The sun was warm, and there was no snow or ice.
As I soaked my sore feet after a day of tramping around on the dry sidewalks, I realized this was the first time in months I’d worn a pair of real shoes.
We ate pie for breakfast two mornings in a row in an old building in Brooklyn, where the walls were lined with tin.
Across the bridge, in Manhattan, I sat outside on a bench drinking a fancy tea latte, admiring the symmetry and color of a building across the street, while a woman paced back and forth during what turned into a very long phone call.
A few blocks away, we peered into a cemetery hidden away behind stone walls and a locked gate.
I was reminded of this cemetery a few days later, when my friend Heather Robinson wrote a post about the results of municipal elections in France, where the Front National—an extreme right party, founded by known anti-Semitic and Holocaust denier, Jean-Marie LePen—is gaining ground.
That what happens in France matters to us all was brought home today, when I saw this post by another friend, Lori Alper. Lori, who lives one town away from me, writes about anti-Semitic incidents involving some of the youngest students at her son’s elementary school.
While hibernation is a fine strategy for staying warm during an endlessly frigid winter, it is not a good way to live. We may wish that prejudice and hate are hidden and locked away like the dead in that cemetery, but in truth they are more like tenacious weeds growing under those dry, New York City sidewalks. They claw their way into the light through the tiniest of cracks.