By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Heartbreaking. Last week’s ice storm hurt so many people and did so much damage, anyone who got through it safely has to feel grateful. Yet, once people and pets are safe, property repaired and utilities restored, there was plenty of heartbreak still to be found in the garden. Grand old trees on the ground. Twisted, dangling dogwood branches covered in buds that will never bloom. Cherry trees lovingly tended for decades now decimated by the heartless pruning of the weighty ice.

As ugly as it was, it was also stunning to see so much ice shimmering in the sunshine. As I was out snapping photos trying to capture it all, I came upon a single leaf still clinging to a tree – somehow it had turned scarlet but didn’t drop in the fall! And so it was there to bring a smile on a sadly beautiful winter’s day.

It seemed like a promise of hope and proof of the endurance of all living things. That one little heart-shaped red leaf hugging its branch was like a tiny Valentine from Mother Nature.