When I was a kid, I only liked one season. Summer. The rest of the year, I just sort of suffered through, and since I was a kid, time went by SOOOOOOO SLOWWWWW.
It was around the time I turned 30, that I decided that I needed to start giving the other seasons a fair shot. But it really wasn't until I had kids that I really started to appreciate them. Now at 45, I'd have to say that Autumn is probably my favorite season. Spring and Summer are probably in a tie for second and Winter. Ugh. Winter will always be in last :) I try to like it, I try to appreciate the differences and the things that only Winter has, but I. HATE. BEING.COLD. And I've only spent one year of my whole life in a place that didn't have cold winters. I've spent 26 years of my life in Illinois, and I would say that Illinois has one of the worst winters ever too. It starts in November and isn't over until April, I swear.
But anyway, back to Autumn. I love so much about it. I love the changing leaves. I love the crisp breezes. I love how it can be cool in the morning and warm in the afternoon. I love having homemade soup. I love eating squash. I love harvest time. (My allergies, however, do NOT love harvest time.) I love decorating with scarecrows and corn and haybales. I love going to festivals every weekend.
And this year, I'm loving Rosh HaShanah. And no, I'm not Jewish. But I'm trying to learn more about different beliefs this year. I had heard of Rosh HaShanah, and had heard it was like the Jewish New Year, but that was about all I'd heard.
Rosh HaShanah is the Jewish New Year, and it comes in the fall, when the leaves are turning and when the harvest is beginning. There are 10 days between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur and are known as the Days of Awe. One of the themes of the Days of Awe is the concept that God has "books" that he writes our names in, writing down who will live and who will die, who will have a good life and who will have a bad life, for the next year. These books are written in on Rosh Hashanah, but our actions during the Days of Awe can alter God's decree. These "books" are sealed on Yom Kippur.
During the Days of Awe, it is a time to evaluate oneself - to find where you have sinned, not only against God, but against others. So I've been spending the past few days reflecting on the past year. I've been looking at how I've fallen short to my family, friends, and my neighbors/community/world. I have been pondering on who I need to ask for forgiveness, and who I need to forgive. And looking forward to the start of new ""L'Shanah Tovah" (Good Year)!