Elul and August are interesting, almost “limbo” or liminal months. August heralds the ending of summer, freedom for children, outdoor meals. It is the entry to autumn and responsibility. Elul follows the serious month of Av and is accompanied by the haftarot of consolation. Elul is the precursor to Rosh haShana and Yom Kippur- days of self reflection and repentance.
But what about joy? My lovely cousin Gwen shared the idea of bringing joy to each day of Elul. I found joy among the weeds.
I am lucky enough to live a five minute walk from a beautiful ravine. As I walked there this week I looked around at all the tiny bursts of colour we tend to overlook as we walk.
The first amazing sight was a mullein. It is a weed that has grown to about 2 1/2 meters- about 8 feet high!
So many lovely flowers- how many can you name?
Walking through the woods seeing weeds, flowers, thistles, berries, seed pods and brilliantly coloured leaves was its own holiday. If we look around and notice the nature around us we can leave our worries behind for a few minutes and feel joy. Being outside with these natural things- whether we are downtown or on a trail surrounded by trees and bushes we can feel the sun or rain or breeze and allow ourselves to abandon seriousness for moments of peace of mind.
Go ahead and do it! Bring joy to each day of Elul! Hug a tree, smell a flower, or pick up a pretty leaf.
And let me know if you recognize all the flower/weed photos I took.
Have a wonderful week and a Shabbat Shalom, Laya
P.S. You can find the answers in the “tags”.