come to the first night of chanukkah after a day of busy airport, full flight, stormy weather. i look at the low, dark sky. i can see the old habitual tendency that drags the body and mind to go down lurking in the periphery of consciousness.
just when the mind is kind of spinning around i remember the metaphor that comes to me in the morning meditation. you are in the desert, there's a big sandstorm, of course there'll be sand in your lungs and all over you, you are not doing anything to cause this, there's nothing wrong with that, about that or with you, but you do have to work to clean out the sand on you.
i know right then and there that i need an extra power scrub besides the one from the self within.
and...wham... there it is, cathy hunter's shining, joyous face greeting me and hwubby at her door. let my try to describe cathy hunter in one sentence: if there's a teacher in the likes of her in every classroom in america, then there's no problem in education.
i have to say that the uplift is not only from her infectiously beaming presence, it's, in the words of hwubby, for wify, it's...the food.
i probably have 2-3 bowlfuls each of the watercress, potato soup and the thai style sweet potato soup. just the young green and saffron hues infuse bolts of happiness into me. they go so well with piles of the chicken, pear, pecan, radiccio salad in champaigne vinaigrette. and how good is the bread pudding dotted with molten chocolate, cranberries and served with fresh cream? this wheat-sensitive person summons all her willpower to stop reluctantly after a few mouthfuls. i wouldn't go so far to say it's a dessert to die for but, for me, if i had to take tylenol for it, so be it.
but the sweetest surprise comes when we are ready to light the chanukkah candles. in her clear and cheerful voice, cathy says, we're going to do something quaker before the candles.
so the dozen or so of us go into silence for a short while. for me, the sweetness and stillness are palpable. i experience this buoyancy rocking my consciousness gently and kindly.
as i watch the chanukkah lights standing tall and bright i have no doubt that whatever is impossible to the human mind is possible to yhvh. after all, the very 4 letters denote the force that transforms what is to what will be. i carry this force and so do everyone. everything is possible but nothing is easy. the warriors in the chanukkah story endured years of hardships and poured in tremendous sacrifices. they earned the miracle. learn the lesson, suk wah? remember the lesson, suk wah?
i tell cathy how much i love this quaker-jewish sequence. she smiles and says, we'll do it again next year. so with a high-five, i believe a new tradition is born. halleluja.