It’s fall, and there is this mix of elements; some of them man made, and some straight from nature, that lend their strength to the appreciation of the season’s change. Here in Israel, we have started a new year, and initiated it with the holiday season which has occupied us for about a month. The clock has been set back to winter time, which causes a dispute every year. There are some who look at nearby European countries, and think it would be more enjoyable to continue summer time for another month and a half, at least. Not me, I like waking up to a bit of light. When it’s still dark, I have no desire to get out of bed. But aside from that, we’ve had our first taste of rain. So we are definitely moving into autumn. And with the autumn season, there is always the squill (pictured above), which grows wild in our country, and appears like a flag, all around, in the cities and the country, at just this time, to emphasize the season.
And getting back to the normal life is quite a pleasure after the continuous holidays of the last month. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the holidays. No, on the contrary, I had a very good time. It was a lot of fun to visit with families and friends, and drive around the country, and eat great food… I won’t even try to make a list of all the wonderful things I enjoyed in recent weeks. And when I say it was good to get back to normal, I think my readers realize that I enjoy my life very much, and what is normal for me, is mostly my choice. So it goes without saying, that getting back to normal is good.
But there was something else… The holiday season disconnected us for a while from the routine. And that is a very liberating experience. There are so many things we take for granted. So many parts of our lives that become automatic. We live a day, and work or play till we’re tired… and then go to bed and sleep… And often, when we start the new day, we just keep on going where we were the day before. Or check our calendar to remember different commitments for the new day. And one day stretches into the next, and we find ourselves so committed to any number of things, that true free choice is almost lost… and sometimes, the appreciation of what’s around us is lost too.
This is one of the great features of the Sabbath, that comes every week. For those who observe that special day… it’s a break in the routine, and allows us to rediscover our perspective, and to appreciate our being alive. And this holiday season did much of the same thing on an annual basis. After the disconnect, and the time spent visiting and playing and having fun, I return to real life with a new appreciation. And often I am tempted to start a new project, or to change a few things in my life… maybe, like the famous ‘new year’s resolutions’ that I hear about at the start of the secular new year on the first of January.
Today, I was looking for some photos that I took, on my way to my mother’s home, thinking to use them to illustrate the getting back to normal… and it took me quite a while to find those pictures. And in the process, I realized that it has been a while since I last updated my photography catalogue. Which reminded me of all the paper work I left on my desk for ‘till after the holidays’. And here it is, after the holidays. Which means taking care of chores too, and putting my life in order. But even chores are easier now that I have stretched my legs, and cleared my head. It’s goodbye to the old, and the beginning of a new chapter. How wonderful.