Tuesday, October 11, 2011


We're coming up on a Jewish holiday called Sukkot, a time when the Jews build little outdoor huts and spend much of their time in them rather than in their permanent houses. It is meant to remind them of the trials and impermanent lives of their forefathers. While I do not build a sukkah nor do I celebrate Sukkot, I have enjoyed reading about the Days of Awe and Rosh Hashanah and other holy days leading up to this week long celebration. I feel a camaraderie with the holiday and its temporary shelters.

At this time of year, in the autumn, I love to watch the leaves turn red and gold and orange and rusty brown. I love the scrunching sound when I walk through them, and the crisp sensation of them under my feet. I cherish the crisp, fall air, and the scents of fallen leaves, cut grass, and upturned gardens being prepared for the coming winter. It's a time of plenty, as the last harvests out of our gardens comes in, and we begin to see pumpkins and mums on people's doorsteps. I need a sweater most days, though there's the occasional afternoon that temperatures soar into the high 70s, and nights that range from well below freezing up into the 60s. It's a time of change.

Sukkot seems to celebrate that change. Autumn is not a time of standing still, and it has nothing to do with permanence. It is a moving season; even the leaves are moving as they fall from the trees and blanket the chilling earth. The creation of an outdoor worship space just for this time of year calls to me, speaks to me because it reflects the very seasons of God (Goddess, the Holy and Divine Ones, the All, and the Many). The abundance around you is evident through half walls, and the tumbling leaves decorate your table as they find their way through the corn stalk roof above.

I suppose I see the beauty of the leaves, the chilly air, the sights and smells of autumn, as the visible and tangible blessings sent to us by the Many. I feel Their embrace when I cuddle up at night with my warm, heavy blankets tucked tight around me. I sense their presence in every lit candle, in every long-sleeved shirt, in every child climbing into my bed at 3am for warmth and companionship.

This truly is a time of Divinity.
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