Tu BiShvat

Because my accountability buddy Adam lives in Israel, I added the Jewish holidays to my Google calendar. Just as it helps with my Christian friends to be aware of Easter, it helps with Adam to be aware of Passover.

You can learn a lot about a culture by their holidays.

Tu BiShvat was the Jewish holiday that started at sunset this past Wednesday and ended at nightfall on Thursday.

The holiday is roughly translated as a Jewish Earth Day or Arbor Day, but it’s different from that.

It’s the New Year of the Trees.

I like the cross-species inclusivity of it, thinking that just as humans celebrate one more trip around the sun, so do trees, and they get their own day to celebrate.

When I’m out walking Roxie, I could wish the trees a Happy New Year, but in their leafless, dormant state, I doubt they’d notice.

Thinking about how different countries have different holidays makes me reconsider the US holiday schedule.

I think little of Columbus Day and support switching it to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which is small consolation to the few descendants of those who survived the genocide.

In December, Christmas is the heavyweight of holidays, but I also celebrate Solstice, thankful that the days now lengthen.

I also celebrate Groundhog’s Day, not because I believe in the ability of an overgrown rodent to predict the weather, but because it marks the halfway point of winter.

Take heart, my friends. We’re almost halfway.

What if we could add a holiday to the official US holiday calendar? What if you got to pick what it was, when it was, and how we celebrate?

If I got to pick, I would pick a holiday for March because March lacks an official holiday and because the relentless wet and gloomy days of March (here in Ohio) chill the soul.

It would be a low-key holiday—no presents, no colossal meals. The celebration would be to write a snail-mail note to someone, a word of thanks for something that has grown more appreciated in hindsight.

The note would be short, honest. A reminder to the writer and the reader that there is something to be thankful for, something that mattered.

We could do that. On the second Sunday in March.

Or you could invent your own holiday—something you want to celebrate however you want, whenever you want.

Let’s do that.

PS: Maybe the holiday would include lighting a candle because candles are nice, especially on a damp and cloudy day.

Chewing the Cud of Good

Thankful for new recipes that expand my stale menu, are gluten free, and good for me.



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