Tu Bishvat is right around the corner – this weekend to be exact. I’m watching the snow fall and the temperature hover around -15C and I can’t say I’m in a very ‘happy birthday trees’ mood.
This week alone I had 3 of my children home with the flu and my husband suspected every tickle in his nose… Last night I got an email from my sons’ school informing us that within 5 days they will be moving downtown creating a 1.5 hour commute (one way) for my sons – 3 hours every day back and forth. To deal with this I needed to cancel one of the ongoing Mussar groups that meets weekly. Half my office is heated while the other half has a less efficient system so ultimately right now we can choose to sit in a t-shirt or file papers in our coats and mitts – ok, maybe not that bad but it feels that bad…
Anyone wishing a tree a happy birthday yet?
And then I realized how easy it is to just put off the Jewish stuff. It’s only trees, right? I mean, Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur, Pesach – that’s major Jewishness, but trees?? How easy to just lose myself in fixing vents, finding schools and chicken souping a cold. But ultimately, I don’t want to choose being the person who copes and bandaids.
Being Jewish in every moment means I can choose meaning over chores. Not to say I won’t fix the vents or find the schools but now I am motivated to do that so I get them out of the way because understanding Tu Bishvat, celebrating nature and trees, reminding myself of my place within the whole – that’s way beyond the chicken soup.
So on Tu Bishvat I will indeed stand outside, heavily layered in winter clothing, lean on a tree, close my eyes and think of Torah and Trees of Knowledge and Trees of Life. Genesis clearly tells us that within hours of creation, we headed to a tree and changed the world forever. We’re forever connected to the trees, it’s probably worth a thought one day a year.
Have a great Tu Bishvat!