It has been a long,cold and difficult week.
I imagine we are all sad,frazzled and frustrated by the massive destruction in our area. The landscape of our beautiful corner of world has been devastated.
Like many of you, I have been feeling overwhelmed for much of the week. haven't been able to stop thinking about the magnificent trees that have been assaulted by the Nor'easter.
I have been cold. My cell phone has not been working properly and I have been anxious to know that life as I knew it would return to normal.
I have been in a funk.
I have always loved the trees in our area and I notice them in each season. The variety of trees is breathtaking. And I have very much appreciated living in a place with so many old trees. The landscape in our part the country is spectacular and I noted this from the moment our family moved here from Kansas City.
I am indebted to my teacher Rabbi Gordon Tucker whose casual comment has helped me to refocus my thinking. At one point in our conversation about the storm, Rabbi Tucker said "Isn't it magnificent the way the trees protect themselves each year and shed their leaves before the first snow. Thank God this year is the exception, not the rule."
What Rabbi Tucker said is true. But I hadn't been thinking that way. I was focussing on how dysfunctional nature was this week.
Rabbi Tucker reminded me that the natural world functions elegantly most of the time. Further he reminded me to appreciate falling leaves in a way I usually do not.
I have always thoroughly enjoyed the magnificent colors in the fall but I never paused to think how important it is that every year the leaves fall long before the first snow. I never considered that by loosing their leaves, the trees were protecting themselves from winter storms. I took that all for granted. Rather than appreciating this simple fact, I usually am annoyed by the leaves in my driveway and I don't like their mess.
I hope that in the years to come, I will remember this traumatic week and appreciate how the trees are protecting themselves from winter storms.
Like many of you, I am anxious for healing, a warm place to sleep and some electricity.
Amy Wallk Katz is the Rabbi at Temple Beth El in Springfield. This is an exerpt of an email communication she sent to Beth El members on Friday.
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