Tuesday, 23 June 2009


After days of scorching dry heat and blindly bright sun, I woke up to steely grey skies this morning.

The palm tree fronds are sage tinted in this light, and the air is heavy with the rain that will soon follow. A welcome change.

The contrast is beautiful.

I slept only a few hours last night, but I slept well...happy. Content. A contrast to months earlier when the few hours sleep I got were punctuated with bad dreams and suddenly moments of panicked awakening.

And I realized that it is the change from one experience to another that's making the sweet moments so sweet. The contrast from sunshine to shade. From pain and despair to happiness and hope.

The Rabbi teaching my class recently explained that there are two kinds of miracles in the world. One, easy to recognize, is when G-d steps in and makes something big happen. An against-all-odds recovery, or an unexplainable moment where the inevitable is somehow pushed aside.

But then there are all the other miracles that we call daily life. A rainbow. Food growing in a field. A rainstorm. Things we could and do easily overlook as "just normal." The purpose of study, and of the brachas (blessings) is to make us aware of how all of life is actually a series of miracles. Since we learned that, I have been struck by the miraculous among the mundane.

Today I awoke to another aspect of that. The miracle of contrast. The gift of appreciation we receive when we move from sadness or fear to joy. And even more telling, how sometimes even the move from what looks brighter (sunshine) to an impending storm can be a cause for prayers of thanks.

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