It is a strange event going on vacation, as I have with my wife during this past week of August. There are no regrets, and indeed the week in the Smokeys has worked out well. Not only have I had the important rest time I needed to recover after recent hospitalization, there has also been an opportunity for my soul to be healed from the hubbub of city life. Most important, the week has allotted time to reopen eyes to the marvels of the world that God so kindly offered to us.
As Jews prepare for the Yamim Noraim, we are guided to look inward, to take stock of what we have done, and to make amends for what may have gone wrong. We are reminded that we are about to stand in judgment before the King of the King of Kings, the most supreme judge. Perhaps we also need to be reminded as is noted in the machzor - prayer book, that Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the world. It is a reminder to celebrate the Almighty as Creator.
Celebrating the world and its Creator has been much on mind as the wife took our lives in our hands driving slowly up mountain roads to reach our condo atop English Mountain. We have been awed to see flocks of wild turkey gobbling away, and been amazed to hear a loan Tom wake us with his gobbling early one morning. We were startled by the wide variety of creepy crawlies that managed to visit us in the apartment, each to be carefully returned outdoors where it belongs. The beauty of formations in the Forbidden Caverns or enroute along the Gatlinburg Bypass Road were inspiring.
Next week as I join my Jewish community in prayer on the High Holy Days, it will not only be with a sense of reverence, but a sense of glee, having been so recently reawakened to the glory of our planet, and the immense generosity of the Creator who gifted it to us, God's children. Shana Tova!