I had so looked forward to walking to Shul (synagogue) Friday evening and coming home for a lovely Shabbat dinner. Likewise Saturday morning. I had awakened very early Friday, fighting off a miserable flu, which I understand is a typical let-down, low immune reaction for new immigreés. So this is supposed to be comforting, knowing I’m a true “olah chadashah??” Anyway, after the pre Shabbat loads of laundry, cleaning, and meal prep, I was really beginning to be hit by jet lag, which was finally kicking in full-force, and by the brutal cold front and lack of warm clothes.
I had found a lovely white damask tablecloth and scrounged together a mismatched set of Corelle dishes to set a lovely Shabbat table with the candlesticks, Kiddish cup and challah bread cover I brought from “home.” It was nice enough, but still something was missing. John and I decided to take a quick walk to our row of community mail boxes mid day to both check for mail and see our new neighborhood. We took the public brick path next to our house up the mountain to the next street. At the top of the plateau is a long, narrow community park with beautiful views surrounding. The streets wind in concentric circles down the mountain. This is our neighborhood. Anyway, like a gift from G-d, the park was full of wild flowers – from poppies to lupines, Queen Anne’s lace, giant flowering thistles, geraniums, lavender, rosemary, and much more! Instantly I knew I would have the most beautiful bouquet for our Shabbat table!!! It’s little things like this that have overtaken me and helped to welcome me “home.”
We made it back just in time as huge raindrops began to splash down. So, I wouldn’t be making the mile walk to shul. I think G-d knew the arid land needed the water – and we needed the rest. John, Max and I spent the evening eating, talking, and reading out loud and on Saturday, enjoyed sleeping in on a cold, wet day. The clouds parted just after sunset in time for our at-home Havadalah service signaling the end of Shabbat. John, Max, and I enjoyed a nighttime stroll around our beautiful neighborhood. Many families were also out walking, which, when you think about it, is really a beautiful thing. We’d pass and greet each other with, “Shavuah Tov!” Have a good week! Moms, Dads, and lots of children.
This was the perfect day to recharge our physical and spiritual batteries, as Sunday here is the beginning of another work week – a typical, full-steam-ahead day with lots more to cram in, we really needed the day off.