Written on October 16, 2020.
Weddings, walks and wonders filled our Sukkot holiday. And sweet sukkah after sweet sukkah.
We transformed our recent anniversary chuppah into our sukkah. Instead of gathering the customary foliage and twigs for its “roof”, we nestled it beneath the branches of one of our favorite oak trees. Birch trunks hugged us tight in a season harsh, yet headed to hallowed.
In the middle of a majestic tree’s beams and boughs, sky became a jigsaw puzzle, meant to be put together by we who would look up and seek story. We invited the tale, tucked into a tribe of wood and marveled at its telling, star by planet, sunset by sunrise. There, between lines and words, realized, the sky is not always civilized. For it is does not speak the narrative of our wants, but spills the chronicles of the always been and yet to be. Every season is perfectly tuned. We need only yield the strings of our heart, so all of creation can sing.
Tabernacles do not tell time, for a feast doesn’t care for seconds and minutes. Hours are of no consequence. The emptied clock of it allows you to begin to breathe in every possible way, filling lung, limb, soul and spirit. Tucked in, you recall what dwells in bird song and water rapids. You thank Him for every cloud that dapples light, bringing intermittent shade and creating a kaleidoscope upon your bare feet.
While nestled with stardust, candlelight and lanterns lit, something unseen came into view. Now visible is the truth that my life has been a journey of learning to walk with raised eyes. From sukkah to sukkah. Glory to glory.
Whether field or forest, I have ever found creation’s cubbies and caves, awaiting my broken beauty and wielded wonder. I knew nothing of the Feasts as a child, yet lived famished for them. How many times was touched bark my broken bread?
Trees branched out in praise, clothed in a palette of such undefinable shades and valleys bowed low in deepest thanks, are but earth’s abbeys. Space made for hearts to be held. I have asked in places such as these to be swallowed up by the holy ground, then thanked Him for the rare and glorious thing it is to remain, a portion of all that exists.
On one of Sukkot’s days, my little Knight in shining armor said, “Marmie, it’s a kinda hard thing to just live.” I took his hand and we danced outside in the shadow of leaf, upon loam. Then came the words, “Marms, but I’m really glad we do.” Amen, my sweet Knight. Amen.
On another feasting day, my person took my hand, put my staff in the other and we walked among surrendered scents hanging in a surrendering season. Roots hugging the earth reminded us that we are anchored. Limbs letting gold go reminded us that we are rich. We remembered that sunlight sings, that there is music without sound. And we thanked Him for one symphony after another. For hymns that hum from the orchestra of creation.
Along the way, we found fallen trees, mighty giants, lives laid down so new life might come. Outgrown roots, shared space with wildflowers, so they would have a home. Filtered light upon forest foliage, created the most magnificent bouquet. One part gives to another, and all grows. There, we grazed in the gratitude that the wind from calmed storms gives us breath. Not one thing is wasted. When we wonder.
Our path led us across loosed leaves delightfully crunching upon dew-dropped ground. Here we realized that though all around us was bounding with beauty, none of it belongs to earth. It is the extravagant evidence that Heaven hangs low, that we might draw near. We are simple seed, mixed mud, ever sun kissed by the circuit of sky and soil. We in need of haven and hemming, have veins of heaven and humus. We are the coordinate where stratosphere and sod meet. The very veins of creation pulse through us, ink wells for parchment in need of continued chronicles. We are each a sukkah, with lines left and words that do not fail!
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