Tradescantia Zebrina .:. The Wandering Jew

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tales and opinions of the wandering Jew

Wind! Rain!

משב הרוח ומורד הגשם
Who makes the wind blow and the rain fall

This is the line we insert during the recitation of the Amidah everyday between Sukkot and Passover (from fall through spring). I don’t often think about the seasons, that the amount of rain will impact the growth of crops in the spring, will impact the harvests yielded in the summer and fall, will impact the soups I’ll make next year as the grey season returns again. We’re spoiled in that way, living in urban centres in North America; we have water that magically comes into our homes, and produce that magically appears in our stores. I feel quite separated from the process of agriculture; I take water for granted.

But this year, I noticed that Montreal got it’s first autumn rains at the end of Sukkos. In fact, the rain threatened us, but held off, for the week of Sukkos, allowing me to enjoy my outdoor shelter without getting soaked. So I took notice, as I prayed in the morning, looking out my bedroom window (which conveniently faces east) as the skies opened up and the rains fell, as I inserted the line “mashev haruach umorid hagashem.”

And I watched the trees. There are three trees in a row, across the street from my apartment; I see them when I look out my bedroom windows as I doven every morning. And this year, I really noticed their changes. The leaves turned colours, reds and oranges, one of them had a large patch of yellow leaves, then slowly started to shed their foliage. Every day, as I slowly exhaled the Sh’ma, I noticed the progress of autumn as marked on the trees. And it struck me as a really amazing event. It’s far too easy for me to get caught up in the bustle of my life, to blink and, whoosh, two weeks later look back and realise I’ve missed the subtler changes around me. But looking out my window at the trees every morning, I’m able to connect to some calmer, slower aspect of nature and G-d. I can’t articulate it, but it’s really been grounding for me. I don’t meditate, I don’t do yoga, but I do watch the trees while I pray.

And though I should feel fulfilled by the praying in and of itself, of fulfilling the mitzvot every morning in my ritual of putting on tzitzis, then tefillin, the donvening, I feel so much more connected this year than last. And the only difference is that my curtains are open and I’m watching the season’s work over the trees.

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Filed under: judaism, seasons

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