Scene: A Farmers Market in Denver. It’s a warm September Sunday morning and a young, attractive couple is walking with their toddler daughter who appears to be about two years of age. The wife is holding the little girl in her arms. She, the wife, is very pretty. She wears a jade green summer dress that contrasts nicely with her tan skin and dark, ponytailed hair. This is what I notice first. And then, my eyes dart to the husband, who says in a low yet urgent, pissed-off voice, “But why can’t we get some more apples?”
“Because,” says the pretty wife through gritted teeth, “we already have four apples in the fridge at home.”
Four apples? Are they really fighting over four apples, I wondered, nearly tripping over my sandaled feet. I stop and stare until they notice and then I hustle along, to pick corn and tomatoes.
All week I keep thinking about this young couple. Now, in all fairness, I was simply a voyeur to this scene of marital discontent. I have no idea what is really going on between them. But I do know that life feels too short and important to squabble over four apples.
It’s Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, a time of peace and a time of self-reflection, all with the goal of becoming a better person in the coming year. It so happens that apples are a significant symbol of this holiday: apples that are dipped in honey to represent the sweet hope of a new year.
Whoever this young couple is, I hope they stop fighting over apples and start loving what really matters.