The Crack in the Pavement

Crack Greening

A reflection by Sr Ita, fcJ 

Taking my Covid walk each day, I see how a crack in the pavement, caused by the frozen snow and ice over the winter months and widened by subsequent thawing and refreezing, is now a miniature landscape of green. Grass and tiny plants have taken root there. It runs in a jagged line, like a winding life-line, my life line. I am invited to reflection on what the cracks of my life have produced and what the fault-lines of Covid is creating in our world.

Where there was fear and despair, new life is emerging, full of green. Like Hildegard’s greening, God is greening our world.

Nature’s ability to recover, to photosynthesize the sun’s energy and produce new energy and oxygen is providing oxygen for our world which cannot breathe. The violent death of one man whose cry I cannot breathe seems to capture the agony of many.

Our world, paved over by the artificial cement of consumerism, racism, greed and disregard for neighbour has been cracked open by the virus. Now the natural life, so oppressed, suppressed, is emerging in acts of solidarity and caring, compassion and attention to the planet that sustains us.


The crack is greening. Will it continue to widen and allow new forms of living and relating to emerge? This question as well as being universal is personal. I ask myself, Will I allow something new to emerge, waiting on the Spirit, or will I dig out the crack and re-fill it with cement and go back to living on the surface?

The words of an old song by Joe Wise based on Ezekiel 36 echos in my soul:

Lord, give me a heart of flesh to hear your word, your love,
I’ve had a heart of stone for so long.
And teach me how to listen close and where to hear your word,
Now Lord, before I sing my song.