We hunted everywhere in the kitchen, even moving the stove to make sure it hadn't fallen behind. We opened up the baseboard heater and shone a flashlight inside.
Eventually we picked up all of the dining room furniture, put it atop the table, and scoured every corner. We were just about to give up...
...when Ethan found the ring -- in our coin jar. It had apparently slipped off his finger on a cold day as he was divesting himself of a pocket full of change.
We felt pretty sheepish when the ring was found. It had been hiding in plain sight the whole time. But we agreed that it was surprisingly nice to have such a clean dining room! Now that our child is years beyond the crawling stage, we don't spend a lot of time paying quite that much attention to the floor.
It felt like a prelude to Pesach, since one of the traditional ways of getting ready for the holiday is engaging in massive spring cleaning. The traditional reason, of course, is to rid one's house of even the tiniest crumb of hametz, leaven, before the holiday begins and we spend a week eschewing bread.
But I find that there's a spiritual component to it entirely separate from the intention of getting rid of leaven -- whether literal crumbs between the sofa cushions, or the metaphorical puffery of ego. Cleaning house, getting rid of things we don't need, always leaves me feeling lighter.
Nigel Savage is right -- getting rid of the "leaven" of old things -- piles of accumulated preschool art, sweaters which are no longer flattering, toys our son has long outgrown -- actually leaves my heart and soul lighter. It feels like throwing ballast off of a hot air balloon. The lighter I get, the more I can soar.