Sunday, March 6, 2011

Just an average morning in the Israeli countryside

The kids are up early.  But then, mine always are.  After a dozen reminders to "take another bite" breakfast dishes are cleared and everyone grabs a coat because the mornings are still rather chilly.

"Have a pretty day!" Teneya and I wish each other with a quick kiss and a giggle at our little inside joke.  This ritual started a few months ago when she was saying goodbye and jumbled up her words a bit.  At six "and three quarters!" my big girl walks herself to the bus stop.

Puriel, who just turned five, pushes the stroller out the door with Hemdiya, 14 months, strapped inside for our daily walk to his preschool.  We're greeted by our cheerful lemon tree, still exploding with fruit as it has been every week since we moved here in September.  If you come to visit me, you'll have to take some home with you.

We plug our noses and make silly faces as we pass one chicken coop and then another.  We pause to watch two horses munching on weeds, pause again because Puriel has found some interesting leaves and again to enjoy the fragrant smell of honey coming from the almond blossoms.

On my way home I rest my gaze on the nature reserve of Nahal Amud and think of my grandfather, Arthur Margolin z"l, who raised funds for the Jewish National Fund (JNF/KKL).  I feel very connected to him when I am in this country's forests.

Home again and it's time for dishes, laundry, playing with baby (who has just started walking) and continuing my spring cleaning.  It feels so good to throw open the windows and let the fresh air in.

I'm reading Every Day, Holy Day by Alan Morinis, a present from my sister.  The chapter is Joy, and how appropriate that is for Rosh Chodesh Adar Bet!  משנכנס אדר מרבים בשמחה  When the month of Adar enters, joy increases (Ta'anit 29a).  We are coming to the end of a "pregnant year," as it is called in Hebrew, which means that we have two months of Adar so that Pesach will come in the spring as it should.  The Jewish calendar is based on the lunar and solar cycles and we have a few new year's days, but that could fill a whole post by itself.

"Delight and joy must accompany your every spiritual endeavor.  Only when you delight and rejoice in each fine and positive deed will you have the enthusiasm to act in the most ideal manner..." writes Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook on page 20.

I want to bless you with a lot of joy, laughter, and positive deeds...this month and always.  That the dreariness of winter will be chased away by the new life sprouting up all around us.  Chodesh tov!  Have a good month!