The late summer evenings have been warm this past week, with only a hint of autumn chilling the morning air. The fragrance of freshly cut corn stalks and pine boughs tickles the nose. Orange pumpkins and multi-colored gourds add a festive brightness. And, the full moon is a shimmering white disk against a deep blue night sky absolutely clear except for a spray of glittering, glinting stars.
This year’s Sukkot has seen the most fabulous weather ever here in New England, so we have really been able to enjoy the week-long festival to the max. We have eaten almost every meal in the little booths — either our own or others’. Nothing can beat relaxing over pot luck lunches and sumptuous dinners with convivial company, or simply sipping afternoon tea while reading a good book. And it’s hard to beat seeing Joel in relaxation mode for a change, reading his newspaper and working the Sudoku at the table in our cozy little shack in the back.
Sukkot is absolutely my favorite Jewish holiday. Aside from the beauty of the harvest fruits decorating booths that pop up all over town, there is something special in taking the time to appreciate all that we have harvested in the past year – both material and spiritual. Sukkot is, after all, the original Thanksgiving holiday. And, true to the harvest theme, our garden has produced scrumptious herbs and vegetables this year (I think I have tried at least a dozen new zucchini and eggplant recipes). Even more important, our family cornucopia is overflowing with happy milestones. Learning to walk and talk, getting new jobs, finding new loves, traveling to exciting places. Sure, there have been some bumps along the road, but those only make the good stuff feel even better.
Thanksgiving. What could be better?