I don't think I have cursed the rain in more than 18 years. Growing up, rain was this regular thing that happened at least once a week and sometimes two. More than that, and it was just miserable. Rain was that thing that came and messed up plans and worse, you couldn't really plan around it.
It rains in Israel from about November to somewhere in March - no, not every day and sometimes not for weeks. It rains for a day, here or there, sometimes two or three days. Rarely more than that. It might be my imagination, but I think it rains more at night than during the day. More than that - when the rains stop - perhaps early April...that's it. There is almost never any rain again until late October...sometimes even late November.
If you want to plan a wedding in June - you can worry if it will be too hot, but never if it will rain. It's always fun to listen to the weather reporter during the summer months. Today was hot...tomorrow...the same. But winter comes to Israel and when it does, the rains fall. We start the season with prayers for the rain...and then continue to pray three times a day for it every single day through the winter.
Last week, we had our first big storm of the winter...we hope it wasn't the only storm and that even bigger ones will come in the weeks and months ahead. And I think that's something so special about Israel. Someone will say, "oh, the weather is supposed to be cold and storming...thank God."
We praise the rain, we welcome it, we rejoice in it. Last week - it rained and rained. The ground soaked it up and as we drove north yesterday, puddles remained in the fields. It was wonderful - the kind of weather I love so much.
I guess you can see that I don't have much to write about if I am writing about the weather...but there is something so special about rain in Israel.
As for the family - we are all adjusting to the wonderful news that Elie is marrying Lauren. My older daughter has returned to her studies after a year off (a year in which she gave me a beautiful grandson). Shmulik is taking a course this week for the security company he works for. The course allows him to be an armed guard - rather than "just" the one who checks bags and trunks in the mall.
It means he is supposed to run to danger, not run from it. It means he will be armed; will be bringing a gun home. He is spending the week training - shooting, running, showing that he is physically fit. The group taking the course are mainly young men, post-army. There is one older man. I can't say how old he is. It might be funny to ask. Shmulik acted as if he was in his 60s. It would be funny to find out he is in his late 30s or 40s. They made them run a kilometer in 5 minutes. The "old" man took 6 minutes but they kept him in the course and he insisted on doing everything the younger men were doing.
Another week, and Shmulik will move into another category at work. He says it will be less boring. In the meantime, Elie has decided to earn some extra money as well - he too has decided to work as a security guard while getting married, studying, etc. He went today and the security company is anxious to have him. Elie believes it is because he was a combat soldier with experience. He too will be sent to the course where Shmulik is this week.
My two younger children are in school - working hard and enjoying what is called "Chodesh Irgun" - a month dedicated to a youth organization. They have tons of activities and then the parents come to listen to them perform. It's a busy time - wedding plans are moving forward - I've been to a bunch of wedding halls, another one tonight.
Bands, photographers, soon apartments, furniture - I'm exhausted thinking about it - but more, I'm blessed. The rain comes in and cleans the air, the streets, the soul. Your children grown and they find another. Like the seasons, things move forward.
May it be a winter filled with rain. May Israel's seas fill as our lives fill with the wonder of each season.