Sukkot has been wonderful, even if I am sukkotin' solo! It's been so much better than last year!
Last year, was so sad and painful on so many levels. It was my first Sukkot alone in years, and I was still grieving the fact that my daughter had left to never return, and wondering if I'd see my grandkids again, before they were grown. One of my friends who had been "sukkoting" for several years with me, even if not always in person; was in hospice care. Then, as if that wasn't enough . . . After getting my sukkah all ready in the afternoon, I was just finishing up chores, when I broke my arm and a bone in my foot. I broke my arm quite badly, so I didn't notice the foot pain so much til the bone began poking out the skin! Last year was a rough Sukkot! Yet it was still a very special time to be alone with my Creator and my Messiah who love me more than anyone ever could.
I gained a genuinely deep appreciation of just the fact that I was allowed to know about this special time. He could be sitting up there on His throne, saying "Guess when it is and try to guess what pleases me!" Our Heavenly Father loves us enough to tell us what pleases Him and what days belong to Him!
So this Sukkot, was different. It wasn't about my pain at all, for which I am very thankful! I was still alone, but I feel very confident that will not be the case next year. Sukkot was different this year, in that I continued to function from the sukkah, on days that were not the High Shabbats. I received a deeper understanding of just how temporary this wilderness journey truly is, and how amazingly awesome YHWH's provision and shelter are! And HalleluYah, no broken bones, this year!
As this special week was coming to an end, I discovered an e-mail telling me about a meeting the next day. With the next day, not a High Shabbat, I felt a tug of obligation to attend, but there was no address given, so I decided I'd call the next morning to inquire. The next morning began a wonderful day, I shall not forget.
Wednesday morning I awoke early in the sukkah. I love just lying there for a few minutes aware that I am in the sukkah. I say good morning to Adonai and good morning to Y'hshuwah. I came into the house to use the facilities, then following morning chores, came back in to make the phone call. There was no answer, so I sat down to do some reading and wait. I was already beginning the self talk of arguing against going, and a time limit for the return phone call was set. The phone rang, and I lost that excuse, but since it was farther away than I had thought, I manufactured a new excuse, but left the option open.
I did a bit more around the place and decided I'd just head out and see what it was all about, so I did. I was ready at any time to turn around, I don't know why, other than the flesh. I know it was the flesh, for two reasons. The blessings that transpired through this journey and the fact that I was looking for a religious reason to not go. I got to the meeting late, because I went to the wrong building, but the people were gracious and I made some new connections for my business and a great advertising offer at no cost to me. How nice is that? After the meeting I decided I'd stop by Subway to get their special. Five Dollar Footlongs, all month. Now this was a great plan, in that the next day was Simchat Torah, and I wouldn't need to prepare any food ahead of time. A footlong is two meals. Dinner after sundown and lunch the following afternoon. So, buffalo chicken was the plan with fresh cucumber salad from the garden!
It was in the Subway, I was blessed beyond measure. A young man was ahead of me in the line and he had a pretty large order. He looked at me, with my headcovering and tzitziyot and I looked at him with his beard and the "look," but no tzitziyot. The awkward silence continued as we both sort of studied each other out of the corner of our eyes. Finally, the ice was broken by a comment behind the counter. Then he looked at me and complimented my tzitziyot. I responded with a question about their Sukkot gathering and I thought he was mishpochah. He stood there for a moment, looking almost embarrassed, saying his tzitziyot had been destroyed and a new set was being made, while he ran out for lunch. I gave him a card and a bar of G-ma's Goatmilk Soap. We chatted a bit more while they finished his order. He looked at the soap, sheepishly grinned and after a pregnant pause, asked me if I was G-ma. We parted wishing each other blessings, and all I could think was I'd already been blessed more than I would have asked or imagined.
Now, blessing upon blessing are you ready for this . . . They were observing Sukkot, but it was in the yard of their new home, as they've recently relocated to the area!