Sunday, September 30, 2007

Rain and more rain...

We've built a sukkah nearly every year for the past 10 years and have always invited guests on the Sunday that falls during the holiday. Typically mornings are brisk, afternoons warm and lovely, and as the sun sets everyone suddenly feels a chill and remembers that it is, after all, autumn. September and early October in Portland is usually gorgeous and how lucky we are that we have this lovely outdoor holiday during our golden season.

Last year we dropped the ball. The old sukkah had become unusable and, due to The Dark Lord's impending bar mitzvah, we had neither the time nor the money to come up with a new sukkah. We missed having our own, and my dear sweet husband worked that much harder to make sure we would have a beauty of a sukkah this year. I don't really believe that G-d pays all that much attention to me, but I'm kind of thinking maybe we're being punished for slacking off last year. We had one glorious day in the sukkah and it's been nothing but nonstop rain since.

To answer Molly's question about how the sukkah holds up--it's still standing but it isn't pretty. All our beautiful lanterns and paper chains? Hammered by pounding rain. Half of the sukkah's roof has blown away. I run out and shake my bedraggled lulav during a break in the rain and it's like standing next to a wet dog after a good full body shake. Somehow I don't envision this being the way it was back in the day and I'm thinking the desert is looking pretty good right now.

Shabbat dinner in the sukkah? Rained out. Breakfast in the sukkah? Rained out. And our customary drop in Sunday afternoon open sukkah gathering? Rained out as well. People came and I took them out to look at the sukkah from the comfort of our covered carport. Nice, but not really dwelling in the sukkah, is it? There were brief, wistful viewings and then we scampered back in to the house for warm drinks and snacks.

Sukkot allows us to live simply in a spare, rickety shelter symbolizing the bare necessities of life. But it is also a harvest festival and I couldn't help but think of our good fortune and abundance: a warm house full of good friends and tasty food. It wasn't the day I'd been hoping for, but it turned out to be a very good day indeed.


Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

We've been fortunate to have pretty good weather this year as compared to last year. Last year, we had the first night dinner in the sukkah, and then it rained. And rained. Followed by wind and hail and..more rain.

This year, we had three dinners and four breakfasts in the Sukkah. But on Saturday afternoon, when we had invited guests to come dine in the the sukkah--you guessed it--it rained. And the winds came up. The only thing missing from last year was the hail. Yesterday we got one meal in because of the wind the rest of the day. And today? More rain.

Here in NM, we need to be grateful for rain. But...couldn't it have waited 'til next week?

Chag sameach anyway!

Tikkunknitter said...

For many years our primitive "casbah sukkah" was simply too skeletal to offer any defense from the elements, so we "upgraded" bit by bit. This year's painting seems almost too extravagant, but we are grateful for the gentle weather this season. Perhaps we can share ideas for more plastic-bag-knit decorations next year, including some your children can manage to execute. Sometimes I think I spend half the year anticipating Sukkot, and the other half remembering it. Both are nearly as sweet as the brief (even rainy) week it's really here. Chag sameach to you all!

shula said...

Never mind.

I'm worried I put the moz on you with all that talk of rain.