As I was lying in bed on Shabbat, watching the sky alternate between a brilliant Spring blue, and a gloomy, maximum-Winter grey, it struck me how the weather in this country is SOOOO holy.
In the UK, where I’m from, the sky most days is some version of grey, with the odd patch of blue showing through in between the clouds (occasionally, in the Summer time…)
When I lived Montreal, a place known for its massive extremes of weather, you could certainly have a tremendously cold, but still sunny day in the middle of the snow season; and you could also have a cloudy day in August, prior to one of Montreal’s spectacular Summer thunderstorms.
But what I’ve never seen anywhere else is a sky going from powder blue, to darkest grey, to powder blue, to darkest grey – literally changing every 10 minutes from one extreme to the other.
I was watching the heavy snow fall in Jerusalem, and interspersed with it, I was watching the sun shine out unabashed, and it took my breath away.
I could deal with the grey, snowy horrible weather so much better, because I knew the sun was literally a 10 minute wait away. I could also enjoy the sun, because I knew that we’ve had enough rainfall this year to last us a decade (but that won’t stop them printing ‘drought imminent’ stories again next year, as soon as we get past Pesach.)
As I lay there, looking at the sky, I realized G-d was given me a mashaal, or an allegory for life, especially life in Israel, and especially, my life at the moment.
I’ve hit every ‘grey’ extreme going the last few months. I’ve had days when I literally felt like I couldn’t take ‘it’ any more, and I felt like I was going to explode, or break into pieces, if something didn’t change, pronto.
And then, the clouds parted, and I’d feel so much better, and calmer, and even a little bit happy again. I was back in my ‘blue sky’ mindset. And then 10 minutes later, the freezing wind and hail and snow showed up again, figuratively speaking.
The other day, I was trying to work out what’s been the most difficult thing to deal with, emotionally-speaking, and after I did a mind-map on the subject, what came through loud and clear was ‘uncertainty’. Nothing is certain. Not only that, my life, my attitude, my outlook, can flip from stormiest grey to sunniest blue in a second – and then flip back again in another second.
It’s enough to drive you bonkers.
But then, I looked at the sky on Shabbat, and I saw that this uncertainty is actually a blessing, in many ways, because it’s hiding the certainty of G-d, and His kindness, and the way He’s directing the world and my life.
After half an hour, I really got that G-d is controlling the extreme weather; G-d is flipping the switch; G-d is tipping things from grey to blue, and back again. When I need grey, I’ll get it. When I need blue, I’ll get it – and things will change according to what G-d decides is best for me.
And that’s for certain.
So like I said, even the weather in Israel is holy, and can teach us some profound lessons about how G-d is in charge of everything. We just have to take that half an hour, or five minutes, or 2 seconds to stay still, sit quiet, and try to work out the message He’s hiding in everything, even the freak weather.