I remember reading somewhere that if one is angry it’s time to get creative.
My Jerusalem family started a vegetable garden from seed. First the soil and boxes were prepared. It was very calming for my grandson to get stuck into working on the weeds.
He’s been selling the seedlings. Best to be just be… not to try and solve the worlds problems but to just enjoy being with the land.
Waking up to beautiful sunrises over the Jerusalem hills and stunning butterflies on a gorgeous purple bushes in the park. To enjoy seeing the size of the earthworms or slugs .
To be in awe watching tiny seeds of tomato, peppers, carrots etc. start to display tiny green shoots above the soil and then to plant them and watch them grow. Plants are now giving beginning fruit.
I could go on about the many wonders of watching the weather and nature and the seasons change. Lying awake at night, reluctant to close my eyes because the beauty of the night sky with its dazzling stars in their full glory with no light pollution to diminish them was too wonderful to want to shut out. Watching the moon rise and grow into its fullness.
There’s a trip to Mitzpe Ramon for an Astronomy talk.
If I had tried to visualise where to be during this time, I couldn’t have come up with what I have been blessed with.
It wasn’t so easy though, being in the moment. I was constantly harassed by my thoughts that I should be doing something more productive. I should be pro-active and sharing suggestions of how people could boost their immune systems, strengthen their lung meridian, cope with stress, support their mental state etc etc ad nauseam until I was getting myself into my own kind of depression.
Yet how to be depressed when surrounded by so much incredible beauty and the clear realisation that nature wasn’t concerned about one more virus in the zillions it experiences every day. That nature wasn’t waiting for us to work out our nonsense, it was doing it’s thing. Ok it needed us to do our part if we were to get the harvests we wanted, but even without us, it was continuing to produce.
Many have had harsh realisations that they prefer not to have to deal with, everything from not enjoying their own company, to not enjoying so much time with their spouse or even with their children. Others have delighted in this opportunity to slow down and spend more time with loved ones and don’t want to go back to normal. Many have realised that they had their priorities askew and that they don’t need a government lockdown to give them permission to not rush around chasing ( fill in your blank ) or whatever it is they worked out they were so busy doing.
A scientific study on happiness showed that if people attended 2 choir classes a week they were happier than if they were going to have their wages doubled. What does this tell us ?
Many people have been speculating as to how this new world will have changed. People who have noticed nature and fresh air and clear skies, will they be more inclined now to re-think their consumerism?
It turns out that one of the hardest things to actually do is to just be. The other thing that I was struggling with was, like many others, what happens when we can’t work. Hands on practitioners, many of whom are self employed, had no work from one day to the next, like many other professions and businesses. Not everyone was fortunate to have a residual income, a plan B, that they could continue to work from a phone and this made me think a lot about Emunah.
I have always loved the concept and construct of emunah and bitachon. Gam zu l’tova. Whatever happens is a gift from the wisdom of Hashem that is ultimately for our good even if wrapped in brown paper. An analogy I often use, based on the pass the parcel game we played at children’s parties. We knew every time the music stopped, we had a chance of finding a gift buried in the brown paper. In the old days there was one gift but lately people put several through the layers of brown paper. So much like life. If we know their is a gift to be revealed, we are much more likely to be excited about shredding through the layers. If we have no idea that there is any good going to come out of our perceived or real suffering, then life just becomes miserable. How many times can you come back to the same dull brown paper parcel, tearing off a layer hoping for something different unless you have a belief that there is beauty, hope, love and happiness in there.
While working on getting more comfortable with just “ being “, I have also been challenging my truth about my emunah. I have always felt like I live in a harmonious place with my bitachon, my sense of security, but when push comes to shove, how much was I truly willing to allow myself to rely only on emunah.
It’s interesting but even though I know how little I actually need and how well I can manage on the smell of an oily rag as the saying goes, there is still a part of me that almost welcomes having even less so that I can get to experience even more of the bounty of hashem’s blessings.
Hashem sends angels to the most remote places and sometimes all it takes from us is to say a friendly hello. Yet again Hashem sent angels, they are all around us, if we have our eyes and hearts open.
For those of you who are alone, in the middle of nowhere, with no work and no idea of what the foreseeable future will bring, we are never truly alone and if we just sit still and watch the abundance that is nature and we listen to our inner voice, it will tell us that it is ok to just BE and to TRUST, cos at the end of the day, hashem has our backs.
Here’s a fun recipe for you ..
Sweet Potato Lasagna
- 200g pumpkin, diced into 1cm cubes
- 200g sweet potato, diced into 1cm cubes
- 1 large sprig rosemary
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1/2 onion
- 100g sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 sliced spring onion with the green tops
- 120g dried lasagne sheets
- nut/seed milk
- kudzu (optional )
- Mochi ( optional )
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees
- Mix pumpkin, sweet potato, rosemary, garlic and seasoning in a bowl
- Place on a grease tray and bake for 20 minutes until golden, when cool mix with mushrooms and spring onions
- Sauté the onion in a little nut or seed milk ( sugar free ), stir in silken tofu and if you want a thicker sauce, dilute some kudzu in cold water and stir that in until thickens
- Smear oil in lasagne dish and add a layer of lasagne sheets. Add 1/4 of the sauce and 1/4 of the pumpkin, potato, mushroom and shallot. Continue until all ingredients used
- sprinkle with grated mochi if you have. Otherwise spread with pepita and sunflower seeds mixed with a little shiro or light miso made into a paste. Bake for 35-45 minutes and rest before serving.
Edited from Amanda Wright