Tag Archives: nature

Joy Among the Weeds

P1130808art by Laya Crust

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.

P1130806Rose Hips by Laya Crust

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”.

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Arise My Love

Arise My Love

קומי לך רעיתי יפתי ולכי לך כי הנה הסתו עבר הגשׁם חלף הלך לו הנצנים נראו בּארץ

20150513_083523[2] The “Song of Solomon” also known as  “The Song of Songs” is about the beauty of love and the beauty of spring. “Arise my love and come away for lo the winter is over and gone, the rains are past and the flowers appear on the earth.” (ch 2: v 11,12)


Each day of spring we are treated to gorgeous, vivid flowers, budding leaves, and the perfume of blossoming trees. Hearing cardinals, red winged blackbirds, and seeing robins resting in branches is a joy.


So go outside, even if it’s grey, and enjoy the new buds around you. And enjoy the colour- even if it’s from dandelions. Springtime is a gift and it doesn’t last long!

By the way, I will be giving a presentation at The Pomegranate Guild on positive, constructive criticism followed by a workshop on accordion fold books. The meeting is on Wednesday May 20, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. Temple Sinai, 100 Wilson Ave., Toronto, Ontario.


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