[Disclaimer: Religious content ahead. I didn’t set out to convert anyone, indeed, just the opposite. Judaism is the base for two other great religions, and some of our obscure rites are embedded in theirs. For Christians in the English speaking world, this holiday is called the Feast of Booths, and is referred to several times in the Gospels and Letters. It is a time that reminds us that ALL nations will go up to Jerusalem in the Messianic Kingdom.]
Well, the High Holy Days are complete, a cycle of reflection, admitting, atoning, forgiveness, and joy wrapped up in a term called “teshuvah”. To return. For Jews, the last pages of the Torah
Scroll are read, then the scroll is rewound and the first paragraph in the Torah is read. “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the Earth”. The sages say we do that because the beginning is connected to the end.
Our sages are a flawed lot, at one moment illustrating a point that is breathtakingly sublime, and the next moment saying something so profoundly stupid that we gape in astonishment. Perhaps that is a good thing.
Anyway. Life returns to normalcy here in my adopted homeland in the wilds of Central Texas where the much disputed balance point of the Continental USA is located. I am thinking someone had way too much time on their hands in calculating that.
Later today I’ll remove the sukkah soo’kah (a primitive shelter) that I built in front of the synagogue. One homeboy down here harvested the river cane to build it. He had the hard job, running off rattlers as thick as my thigh to cut the cane. Had that been me, they would have had to build the sukkah out of purchased materials. I leave rattlers alone if they stay out of my domicile and verges, and empty my .45 ACP into them if they don’t. But the cane breaks belong to them and their cousins the water moccasins.
Linda and I made the two and a half hour trip down to a friend’s synagogue in San Antonio for a combined celebration of the last day this weekend, and returned in time to celebrate them on the day God appointed them, so we are pretty celebrated out this week of returning to normalcy.
The back of the heat and drought has been broken for us, the fall rains are returning after a three year hiatus. It is a shock to wander out in my house clothes, coffee cup in hand, into a brisk 45° morning. But the heat stricken sweetpotato vines on the porch have began a vigorous growth, the tree are in their second growth, and the land looks like springtime. Rain, we have greatly missed you.
My sister Pamela (sister2cats) has been keeping us up to speed with the latest family disaster. Her house went up in flames after a neighbors house caught fire. Everyone got out OK, though one cat fled into the darkness. They found the cat later, so from that vantage point, all is well. But now the aftermath.
An oldtimer I knew who was mentoring me thru a very rough patch of real life, showed me a picture of his Kansas home after a tornado destroyed it. A hot, calm Kansas day followed the tornado, and he came up from the cellar to a pile of shingles and 2x4’s. First there was the gratitude. Then the shock. Then the dismay. Some neighbors appeared. One person saw a sofa cushion, and picked it up and started a pile of furnishing. Another began to pull apart 2x4’s and carried them to a new pile. Day after day, they returned, separating the salvageable from the unsalvageable. Finally, the foundations were bared, and the rebuilding could begin.
Life is like that. I remember the final scene from Schindler’s List when the Russians liberated the workers and hung the camp commander. The remaining Jews were stranded there, families and occupations were destroyed. They were not sure of their welcome if they returned to their villages. They asked the Russian General where they should go. He said: Go anywhere you like. You are free!
Yeah. Where do you go after a disaster? You walk back to the wreckage and pick up a sofa cushion and put it in a salvage pile. You pick up a 2x4 and start a 2x4 pile.
So enough of the morbid musing this morning. Snookums took my car to the store today. Hers is with the mechanics who are going to do $300+ of tender loving to it. The dogs are laying forlornly out by the back gate, awaiting for her to round the corner on her return. Kippur the budgie is quiet this morning. A muted Autumn surrounds me as I sip the morning coffee and ponder.