Thoughts from the Sukkah 2018 Day 1

This year we moved. 

At the beginning of the year – in January – we purchased a house and moved out of our rental.  Our rental, we knew, was a temporary home. We thought we would be there longer but due to a whole bunch of circumstances involving a new owner and unacceptable new lease terms we moved.  I thought about the Israelites in the Wilderness when it happened because the description was so perfect.  The cloud they were in would stop and they would camp. And it would start to move and they would pick up and go. The cloud was at that rental house for 4 years.  As our lease was coming to an end it clearly lifted and began to move.  

Looking for the house was a trip because we knew we needed to put in our offer by mid-December to have it close before our lease was up.  When we move my husband has always entrusted me with finding our home. Every time I have found one for us he has trusted me more. I always bring him into the space to get his agreement before we do anything official.  Except for this time.

This time we found a house I really liked except for a couple of things and so we waited – it was over Thanksgiving weekend – and I took the family on Monday.  There was already an offer on it.

The market had turned dramatically and from that point on everything we looked at had an offer on it before the end of the day.  So when we found the house I felt was right I FaceTimed my husband and he did a video tour.  I told him my hesitations and he wasn’t concerned about them. We made an offer that day.

There was so much wonderful about the process.  One disabled veteran selling the house to another disabled veteran so the VA already knew the house and it was fairly easy. Our agent was great and available at a moment’s notice – and a friend from college.  The things we needed done got done. Things we didn’t need we let go of. And they left us a charcoal and a gas grill which was nice.

The cloud lifted and moved and we jumped and moved with it and when the cloud had clearly settled on our new home we stopped and settled in.

Believe it or not this is a two story house!

This year my family didn’t get a sukkah made in time for this festival.  I felt a little guilty – slightly frustrated.  I know it’s been an intense year – not just moving but I have had 2 surgeries (one minor and one very major).  Our son is in a show at the Theatre where I work and he and I are gone most evenings.  Our oldest son works.  Our daughter is in NYC which makes it a little hard to have all the joy on holidays that she isn’t with us to celebrate.  Excuses excuses excuses.

In reality, though, this year I’m struck by the fact that our home – even though we bought instead of renting this time – is still a sukkah.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring. None of us knows the number of our days. None of us tells the sun to rise and the moon to light the night. We aren’t in control.  Since remembering that is one of the reasons we’re told to dwell in a sukkah – and since our homes and our bodies and everything about us is a constant reminder of this if we let it be – we’re still waving the lulav every day and I’m still sharing my thoughts about this amazing season.

This season where God – who is permanent and eternal, faithful even when we are faithless – asks us to remember that we are temporary.  It is humbling to remember that – and usually the experiences that make it most obvious are the experiences that knock us down and put us back on our place.  It is also amazing that the eternal God of the universe – creator of everything – loves us enough to care about our temporary dwelling and is involved enough that he wants us to practice for eternity.

I think that’s pretty awesome.

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