Good morning November! Hope you are having a beautiful Sunday morning somewhere but most likely if you are on the Continental United States you are waking up to clear skies, colder than normal weather and dreams of turkey and stuffing in your head. But, down in the Caribbean...way down..down by Panama my little system is still kicking and actually has gotten mention from people in high official places.
Yup... still there after several days of people covertly watching it spin it now has it's own yellow box. Now, this may be it's very own 15 minutes of fame mind you or it may cause some trouble in Panama, or it could linger until conditions are better or it could even cross over into the Pacific but whatever it is doing I am not the only one talking about it... so is the NHC. Yellow. Small chances for development but chances none the less. Just goes to show you if a tree falls in the forest and you think no one hears it the National Hurricane Center is still watching thanks to the eyes in the skies up above.
Here in Miami birds are chirping, sunrise was beautiful and I think all my little chickies are home back where they belong except for Mendy who went to work at the Gap this morning. He came in to tell me that he wanted me to be happy because even though he went out last night and partied and still keeps his responsibilities and goes to work. Well.. I guess I've done something right lol.. you think? Not sure that will ever get me Mother of the Year but then again I am not trying to win any awards.
Shabbos was beautiful. Really beautiful. I miss my boyfriend... that wasn't so nice but he'll be here again soon and I'm surrounded by pictures and seashells and colored autumn leaves we've collected. My little white siddur from Neshei Chabad is not on my bookshelf and I am wondering if it's here in the house or somewhere in his dining room in North Carolina. Either way... it's safe, a trinket from Moshiach Convention in Madison Square Garden years ago... has all the pages marked with pictures.
So... reason for bringing up Shabbos (the Sabbath) is that I decided late in the day to take a long walk to walk off the incredible chocolate brownie's Mendy's friend brought to dinner Friday night. Thick, fudgy chocolate with incredible icing with coconut and some little candies on top melted in.. nougat like ... incredible. Did I say incredible? That would be an understatement. So... after watching the kids joke around in the afternoon in some mini-war with flip-flops being used as paddles and talking football to Jon and reading more magazines than you can imagine that piled up here the last few weeks... I took a walk.
This talk is the walk because it was clear that not only was Miami cloaked in blue skies but God has cloaked Miami in it's winter colors.
There is nothing like getting out and being with nature.. in nature to remind you of how time has moved on while you were commuting and working and shopping for food, foraging for fresh fruit in Publix that Miami is now dressed in Winter Colors.
First, I had to find something warm to wear as I knew it would be almost dark when I got back. I had to take a .... s w e a t e r. Really. My little black Victoria Secrets hoddie. Here is a picture... of the hoodie, not me. I do not do bear midriffs anymore. Nice hoddie... wear it around my waist or shoulders until I need it when the sun goes down in the winter. "In the winter" being the operable phrase here.
I decided since I was out for a "Shabbos Walk" and trying to get some fresh air and burn off calories all at once I may as well go to the Canal. Took a nice walk over, met my brother half way who was on his way to Temple for afternoon/evening prayers. Got a good hug and walked on... waved to friends, watched some parrots from the canal fly overhead, watched kids playing basketball in front of their houses, girls walking... was winter, everyone was suddenly out and about again instead of locked away in air conditioned houses. I walked over towards my old house impulsively and my old path to the canal. I realized that the orchid trees are in bloom. We call them Florida Orchid Trees though some call them "Poor Man's Orchid's" but either way they are heavenly, beautiful and DO plant them even though some say not to just know they are fast growers and they go over fast in a hurricane..they snap sort of in half which is sad, my mother lost a big one in Andrew but they grow back just as fast.
Florida orchids... a sign of winter for sure.
Another sign was the Mahogony Tree's have nuts on them... so many little signs of winter to a Floridian. Always love when those nuts appear..
Got to the Canal and decided to walk across the canal on the other side so that I could look back to the West and watch the sunset over the canal. That made it not a big walk but a really big walk but hey .. the weather was beautiful and the sun was beginning to set and turn the sky colors only seen in the winter time in Miami. Passed a Florida Holly or what some call Brazillian Pepper for the color of it's berries that turn red just around Christmas giving it the additional name Christmas Holly. Now THAT is invasive and worth cutting down anywhere you see it crop up which it does often as the little birds love the berries and drop them everywhere and they will take over your hedge or backyard faster than a wild ficus. Seriously, but they are beautiful when they are filled with berries and another sign it is WINTER. Robin's that flew south for winter in the old days would make their first stop these colorful trees, get drunk on our lawns and sound a lot like my son Mendy at a party and my mother would get worried and tell my brothers NOT to eat them EVER as they are VERY poisonous!! Florida Holly... one of the signs of winter in Miami!
I looked up at the sky, deep blue against the Austrailian Pines blowing in the wind and gave thanks that they have not ripped them all out and that there are a few left. Yes, I know they are invasive. Let me explain you something here... Miami IS invasive! The land here only exists because they dynamited the river, destroyed the falls, lowered the water table so that parts of the Everglades would drain off and they could build suburbs out west beyond 27th Avenue and then they leveled the new land, laid out subdivisions and began building. Except for Snake Creek which was widened and a few tall mound like areas where Live Oaks rest that may or may not have been Indian Mounds... nothing was here except sawgrass and a few Royal Palm Trees that were found across South Florida and in Cuba. I guess you just have to pick your invasives and take your chances.
Hey! I love Florida Orchids. I love Austrailian Pines. I love Florida. But, hey I may soon be an invasive Floridian in North Carolina so... I figured enjoy every moment of my walk and Shabbos and as Linda used to tell me "try not to think soo much" lol.
So.. I walked, watched the sun turn the western sky orange and thought a lot even though I'm not supposed to. I thought on past walks... one long, long walk on the canal I took with Yehudis Groner on my birthday a few years back. Leibel was in town for Hay Teves which is my Hebrew Birthday, it was deep in December and Yehudis wanted to see "the canal" and so we walked and talked on life, on history... she gave me her thoughts and I listened. Old friends who seem to show up just when it is most important and I remember talking about meeting someone, getting married, what I wanted for me, what she wanted for me (giggling) and what everyone else wanted for me. Was a great walk. One of the best long walks I ever took at "the canal" and a beautiful shabbos. Somehow it hit me that walk was a sort of metamorphic memory for me as I finally put into words the thoughts that had been swirling around in my head for a while yet hadn't quite wanted to face or think on and yet we did as we watched fish jump in the canal, birds play on the banks of the canal and watched the sun go down.
Shabbos walks. Shabbos talks. Nothing like them.
I walked over the bridge and back to my side of the canal, looked back to the east and saw that the setting sun was painting the cloud tops all the colors of a conch shell, mauve and pink and coral and white... just like the other night when Brian and I went for drinks and watched the sunset.
Winter in Miami.. it only looks like that in the wintertime. Something about the cold air, the high pressure...lots of reasons from a scientific viewpoint but I think some early Floridian like Captain Fulford or Carl Fisher paid off Mother Nature to make Miami look it's finest from November to April when the Snow birds descend upon our beautiful tropical land.
Was a sort of heavy walk in ways also. It was November 22nd. A year since Harvey died. A year without Harvey. I stood for a while where we used to do Tashlich way back when we first moved to North Miami Beach and Harvey took to spending the High Holidays up here with his friends who had invaded NMB :) I always have such a clear vision of Harvey on Rosh Hashonnah standing over by a cluster of trees and me and Sharon and Malka praying his prayers would get answered. Memories. I thought some, I said goodbye again and remembered. It was right, right place, right time..right thoughts.
Decided to go back by Bais Menechem and say some evening prayers, say some psalms, give thanks for all that is my life at this moment in time and in the past. Exhausted and now cold enough for me to put on the little black hoodie and rest my tired feet and overtired mind.
Walked inside... looked up and there was a picture of the Rebbe with a notice about a farbregen for the new month. I smiled. It said Rabbi Groner. Thought how funny and then more funny.. was his son, coming from North Carolina to speak on Rosh Chodesh Kislev. The circle somehow goes full circle. Time moves on and yet it doesn't really go anywhere or change that much. Our children grow up.. move on and keep in touch.
I got home.. my kids told me Brian called from NC.. and then my cell phone rang and when I thought it was Brian it was Uri.. my son-in-law who called to tell me that he had just been in the Rebbe's Room and had davened (prayed) and I was blown away. There I was in Bais Menechem thinking on 770, thinking of the Kinus, thinking on life and davening and there was my son (in-law) at the Kinus praying for me and "all my family" in Crown Heights.
Something beautiful about winter... it reminds of us change and yet continuity. It brings with it memories of the past and helps us make new memories.
Down in the Caribbean there is an area of tropical weather but in North Miami Beach winter has taken hold and we are going into winter with a new Hebrew month Kislev around the corner, December and a new year down the road.
Thanks for reading my thoughts... love you brother boy in Greece.. I watched deer playing around the little snowman last night, love the snowman cam.. there really are deer there.. :) Not here but there.
Love and kisses... blessings Bobbi
ps... Going to breakfast with Sharon ;)