Shavua tov, a good week to all of you. This cool’ish spring is allowing many of our spring flowers to linger in our gardens – our bluebells are giving us several weeks of delight. I have been picking and serving some wild “weeds” from our garden areas over these past weeks – weeds I have previously ignored. With an interest to limit trips to the market, I have been adding miner’s lettuce to our salads and soups, purple dead nettle and dandelion to pesto sauces and using lemon balm with parsley and miner’s lettuce in all manner of meals. This isn’t just a lesson in making do (although that was certainly the initial intention), but a lesson in gratitude and a lesson in paying attention – to not overlook the bounty that surrounds us. Here is a website if you would like to learn more about what is growing around us. http://edibleplants.b-king.ca/#harvesting
I remember singing a hymn when I was little: “All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small; all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.” Every now and then I remember singing this simple hymn, and smile at the simple and profound message these words provide. In our own Jewish tradition we have an opportunity to acknowledge the bounty around us with the blessings. We have a teaching that we should recite 100 blessings every day!! How could I ever say 100 blessings a day? Every time we have a drink of clean water; when we wake up in the morning; when we eat a mouthful of food; when we see the ocean; when we study Torah; when we put on our tallit; when we see a beautiful flowering tree – so many opportunities to fill our hearts with awe and thankfulness. Here is a website if you would like to learn some of our traditional blessings: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/blessings/
During these days where we can become fearful, anxious and worried, I have found it important to acknowledge the blessings around me – all the very many blessings, all things bright and beautiful. I wish all of you good health, tasty meals, and hearts full of wonder and gratitude.