I’ve been thinking a lot about this in the past month. You might think it’s because it’s because of the High Holiday season. You might also think it’s because of the upturn with the Delta variant and COVID. You might be right on both accounts. But this started before that. We returned from spending almost a week with the kiddies along with some unexpected viral guests. The doctor assured me it was viral, but I felt like garbage for almost the whole week following. Thus a week of acetaminophen. She assured me it would go away with plenty of warm water, not cold, which restricts the nerve endings (who knew??), and lots of Vitamins C and D. And even though I was really ready to beg her for something to make it possible to swallow without pain, it went away. At some point probably as I was getting a little better, I noticed that the expiration date on the bottle was from 2017.
Well, that wasn’t so long agghhh!
Yes, it is from the stuff we brought over on our lift. It’s whittled down, but we still have a lot of OTC meds that have officially expired similarly years ago. Could this be why it took me so long to get better? Was it half-strength-half-life? It was to be taken every 6 hours and to be honest, sometimes time was bent since I was in such discomfort. But no, Google informed me that the expiration date on meds is just a suggestion. Well, a little more than that, but not much. As long as it’s not stored in improper conditions, solid meds last up to 5 years after their dates. Another article I just read says at least three years. Hmm. But you should smell it and look at it carefully. Apparently aspirin has some ingredient that causes it not to last as long. In any case, I have to figure out what to do with all this expired stuff, plus get some more new stuff, just in case.
But clearly, only a little bit.
This is a good thing, right? We haven’t had to take meds, which means we’ve been healthy, right? Basically. But the truth is we’re getting
old older. Old clothes which we brought with us are getting raggedy, need replacing. Old books are getting too hard to read (fuzzy old print), so we need new copies. Technology gets updated on a need-to-go basis, so that’s not an issue for now. But it’s the sense of things reaching their end that has me upended. After all, we wish each other גמר חתימה טובה now before Yom Kippur. It literally means “End of a Good Sealing”.
And then what, exactly?
I had to go back from the dentist (again). She repaired a molar that had broken in half that same week we were with the kiddies. If it breaks again, I’ll have to go with a root canal and then a crown. כֶּתֶר and טיפול שורש. Somehow in Hebrew that sounds better; maybe appropriate for the ten days of Teshuvah; this period of introspection between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur; treatment of the root that I will search my roots; and the crown that I will be glad to use to declare G-d as the King. So even my mouth declares and all my bones declare
כָּל עַצְמוֹתַי, תֹּאמַרְנָה-
ה’ מִי כָמוֹךָ
מַצִּיל עָנִי מֵחָזָק מִמֶּנּוּ וְעָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן
מִי יִדְמֶה לָּךְ וּמִי יִשְׁוֶה לָּךְ וּמִי יַעֲרָךְ לָךְ
הָאֵל הַגָּדוֹל, הַגִּבּוֹר וְהַנּוֹרָא, אֵל עֶלְיוֹן
קֹנֵה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ
Hashem, who is like You? He who saves the poor from the stronger, and the poor and destitute from thieves.
Who resembles You? And who can compare to You? And who can value You? The great G-d, strong and powerful, G-d above, who shows ownership over heavens and earth.
(from Shabbat and Yom Tov morning prayers)
This will be what I will keep in focus; we don’t know we don’t know. We don’t know what G-d has in store for us. We just have to remember that He owns the store.
I’m trying to get into Shemittah; the seventh year in the cycle of rest for the Land of Israel. Bottom line; we should be able to go into any field and orchard and pick what we need for our short-term needs. No ownership. We’ve spent a lot of time trying to learn the laws and prepare our own garden for no planting for the year. This is our first time living here and participating in this set of laws. It’s an honor and an awesome project.
I’m in a Facebook group of Anglos gardening in Israel; a large enough group for interesting discussions. One of the people mentioned that he and his wife love coming home from work for lunch and going into their garden to tinker around a bit. And so after Rosh Hashanah, they come home and he goes out to the garden–to do nothing. Because nothing can be done. (Not exactly true because one can weed and keep up proper appearances; just not plant or do something that would strengthen the growing, but…) Someone else in the group answered, “Go sit in the garden and enjoy!”
Yes. Detach from your small world and pay attention to the larger picture. Know you are not the center. Go. Be grateful. Enjoy.
We went to a nearby winery this afternoon–Kerem Ben Zimra. I think that the experience of drinking wine in the afternoon in a lovely setting helps the wine taste more amazing; we’ll have to see how it holds up during meals. But the woman helping us with the tasting talked about the deepest connection that the Boujou family has to the wine, to the land itself. She displayed the best understanding, the deepest understanding, of the term terroir; that the land itself gives its all to the wine. But so much more than that; she pointed out the vinter; this young woman we saw briefly holding her baby in a baby carrier, who married into the family and then became the expert; she goes from vine to vine right in their vineyards and is able to pay complete attention to when the grapes are ready; how to make the best of the best right there.
This is being part of the Land. This is allowing the Land to speak to you. Not pushing your agenda onto the Land, but listening. Waiting. Allowing it to be its best. Belonging. I have such a sense of awe when I hear people who know their place speak; I am still in search of it, although I think I’m getting warmer. But when you hear people speak about how much the Land speaks to them, you know that they are truly blessed. So I am grateful that I can bless the One who allows the wine to come forth from this Land. At least I can do that.
And there is no expiration date on gratefulness.
גמר חתימה טובה. And then onto even more amazing things ahead!