Ezra – a Strawberry of Hope

Ezra – a Strawberry of Hope

In the Spring of 2011, five year-old Ezra planted a strawberry plant in a little garden he made in front of his house. Ezra’s favorite flavor is strawberry.  He was a very good gardener.

Every morning before going to school, Ezra checked to see if any new strawberries were peeking out. Every afternoon after school, he carefully watered his plant.  He chased away the snails and any threatening insects. He kept the ground near the strawberry clear of weeds.

Ezra’s plant produced only a handful of fruits, but he was pleased with his success. He made sure everyone had a chance to taste how delicious they were, freshly picked. When he came home from his vacation at the beach in August, he happily discovered his plant had survived the heat of the Tuscan summer. Before going to his mother’s for a vacation from which he has still not returned, Ezra watered his plant and pulled away some weeds near it. He checked his plant one last time before getting in the car.

Ezra has not seen his plant for nearly 7 months. If his family and friends at home could speak with him, they would have told him many things, including Happy Birthday on February 26, or that Florence had the coldest winter in the past 25 years, all covered in snow. But Ezra is in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he has been placed in an institute, a Yeshiva, where he is not permitted contact of any time with his family or his friends at home. No one has had contact with Ezra, in person or by phone, all this time.

Ezra does not even know that the most remarkable thing happened. When the Tuscan snows melted, his strawberry plant was still there, thriving.

It is waiting for Ezra to come home.

6 responses to “Ezra – a Strawberry of Hope

  1. Caro Ezi,
    Lascio qui un messagio per te, come ho fatto con Eli, perché quando tornerete possiate essere certi che vi abbiamo pensato ogni giorno. Così saprete che il vostro babbo lotta con forza ogni attimo della giornata per farvi tornare e noi siamo qui, alle sue spalle, per sostenerlo in questa sua giusta battaglia, sicuri che presto sarete di nuovo a Firenze, in famiglia e alla vostra serena vita di sempre, così come dovrebbe essere.
    Ed ora eccoci alle tue fragole, mio caro Ezi; è il tuo amore per loro che le ha scaldate in questo inverno freddissimo…ti stanno aspettando tanto quanto noi 🙂 .
    Il tuo babbo oltre ad essere una persona straordinaria, forte come una “quercia”, è davvero tanto, tanto fortunato ad avere dei bambini come voi perchè se Eli potrà essere uno scrittore tu non sarai da meno di lui e potrai diventare uno stupendo agronomo!
    A prestissimo.

  2. Dear Ezra, not only your plant but also all of us miss you a lot! I really hope that all four you will come back to Florence very soon. Your strawberry plant becomes stronger and bigger and waits for you so much! Even if now you’re far away, you must know that all the love, you gave to it, protects it still now every day from cold, rain and wind. I’ m looking forward to see you soon, to eat your sweet strawberries together and to plant more and more of them, if you want! In the meantime I send you a big, big kiss!

  3. Ciao Ezra, you probably don’t remember me. I met you when you were little. Congratulations on your ‘pollice verde’! I tried to plant tomatoes on my balcony in Brazil but didn’t have much luck. On the other hand I succeeded in growing avocado from a seed (that here is called abacate) and basilico. My 9 years old Carlos loves home-made, home-grown pesto. 🙂
    A big hug to all of you

  4. Ezi, I miss you much as well. It was a lot of fun playing basketball in the house when I last visited Florence! I hope to try strawberry’s with you from your plant when I next visit Florence. Sorry to have missed your birthday since it would have been fun to talk with you on Skype to wish you a happy birthday!
    I love and miss you, your sister, and brothers and hope to be able to visit you soon.

    Love you,

  5. Ezra will soon come home and see the fruits of his labor!
    I am hopeful it will be soon!
    – Steven Burda

  6. Ezi, we miss you so much!!! Everyone wants you to be home. I will never forget your face and how happy you were when you took me over and showed me the zucchini growing in your new garden.
    I don’t know if there is any way that someone will somehow be able to show you this message but an aunt can hope at least! I wish we could have been with you to celebrate your 6th birthday last month. Zoe constantly asks for you. She played a lot with your big blue “Doppy” dwarf the last time we were at your house, but I know she misses playing with you and I do too. There are no kids there right now but all your toys, games and books. I promise we’ll all make sure that your strawberry plant will stay safe.

    I love you and miss those warm hugs of yours!
    Hobbes misses playing hide and seek with you too and getting chased under the bed! 🙂

    Your aunt, Molly

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