Last year, most of my focus for Sukkot was spent on organizing and carrying out the Sukkot fundraiser.
This year, it was different.
First, I was in charge of the food drive again, and got everyone down to the JFS food sort in the big warehouse in SoDo. I wouldn’t do it so enthusiastically if it were a job I had to do every day, but once a year it is fine. As usual, I spent most of my time pulling bags from under the sorting tables and bringing them to the bag area. Since I was wearing shorts and short sleeves, instead of my clothes getting filthy, it was just my skin.
Going to the sukkah decorating party was supposed to be just a filler, between the Food Sort and going to Meditation7’s book party. It ended up being the highlight of the day. I was unprepared for how relaxing it was. I had no responsibilities and no small children. I helped the rabbi string the twinkle lights and screw them into position. Then, after stringing various fall garlands through the sukkah walls, I took up making a berry wreath. It felt both creative and soothing, clipping the red berries (which will never ripen this year) and attaching them to the wreath. I am not at all crafty, so maybe this activity was close enough to cooking for me to be adept…? Anyway, I thought it turned out splendidly (see attached photo).
After putting up the berry wreath, I just sat and helped the small children with their little decoration projects. This was so much fun and so low pressure when it wasn’t either my children, or me being in charge of sukkah decoration activities. It meant a lot to me to be with members of all ages and help make something that is festive, and supportive of everyone’s spiritual and community development. 17 months ago