Monday, April 2, 2012

I Wonder If The Children of Israel Ever Stopped to Enjoy the View

As we approach Passover, I have been thinking about the story of the Exodus from Egypt, which we are going to retell this weekend at our Passover table. These slaves from Egypt were to spend 40 years journeying in the desert. Their goal was to reach Israel. But for many of them, the trip through the desert would take their whole lives and I wondered if  any of them ever stopped  for a minute to admire the view.

They had certainly been through an incredibly traumatic experience. They  complained about their circumstances in the desert and their lack of food and drink. Their lack of faith often rose to the surface. Did they ever rave over the sunrise or admire the desert landscape? Did they point in wonder at the stars or marvel at their children’s resilience? Were they so focused on what they had left behind or getting to the end point, that they forgot to stop  and take in what was in front of, or above them?

When our family  goes on a  long car trip, my boys are always so buried in their electronics, that I spend much of the journey shouting above their ear phones to try and point out a beautiful scene, an unusual building or real live animals. Despite my best efforts, that they enjoy the ride, often for them, the journey is a means to an end.

Our journeys through life take much longer than a few hours.  On this recovery journey that Jonny is on, it is easy to get bogged down in the mire  of medications, doctors’ visits, work and sleep and forget to stop and enjoy  the small gifts that are happening around us, as we continue our journey: The hugs from  our children, the lone tulip in the garden,(See my previous post-Among the Weeds)the continuing offers of help and visits from our friends or the unexpected, uplifting email from a colleague.

So, I wonder if the Children of Israel ever did stop to admire the view. We will never know for sure, but one thing I have learned from our personal journey is that it may take much longer than we ever planned, to reach our destination, so we might as well take a moment to cherish the positive right now, along the way.

Wishing all of you a very happy Pesach or Easter and Springtime. I hope you have a moment during the shopping, planning and cooking, praying and entertaining, to stop and enjoy the views you stumble upon along the way. Please send me a picture or description, of anything that stops you in your tracks!

Have a great week.


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  1. I hope so, but sadly not enough I am sure. We all fly through life, always thinking there will be time to smell the roses, or admire the tulip, but life rarely works out that way. Sometimes I think that is the purpose of tragedy and adversity, Hashem's not to subtle reminder to stop and look at the Tulip. I have ben writing a series o poems I want to turn into a children's book series. The second to last one I wrote was Egret and the Peach Iris. I tried to capture the importance of stillness and admiration of beauty.

    1. Thanks Corey,
      In the crazy, fast paced, technologically driven life we need, pausing to admire our surroundings has become more important than ever.

  2. You sound a bit like me Gilly. I consider myself so lucky living where I live. We are at the end of a beautiful valley. To some people, it would be a nightmare, surrounded with hills and 'nothing to look at'. But on the contrary, every day I look at those hills, the clouds in the sky, so many things and just appreciate how beautiful it all is.

  3. Liz -where you live sounds beautiful. I could certainly look at hills and sky all day. You have found your haven and that's what 's important.

  4. Gilly, I love this! Food for thought indeed. I love a good view myself, and am happiest when I remember to look at the buildings and landscape going by out the train window on my trips to work in the mornings--instead of tweeting and emailing. :)

  5. Thank you Mary. Yes it's so easy to forget to look up when we all have our noses on our smartphones/computers all the time. I love the chance to pause,but have to remember to do it.... althuogh I do enjoy the tweets as well:-)
    Thanks for taking the time to comment.