Los Angeles is a city of “Hollywood Perfect” weather. We really have nothing to complain about, but it is a constant topic of conversation of too hot, too cold, too humid, too dry, and of course whether it will really rain or not, and when it does it is too much.
I always laugh, and remind myself and everyone I come across that the rest of the country really has too hot, too cold, and every thing else under the sun. When I first moved to Los Angeles from Miami, I was honestly freezing. It is not an exagerration, the mornings and nights are usually cool. My brother came to visit and we drove together to Burningman in 2001, and it was so humid our whole drive back home. I kept on telling him that once we get to Los Angeles, it will be cool, but it wasn’t. Most places, especially older buildings, do not have air conditioning, because usually it is perfect weather to keep windows open for a fresh breeze. Unlike Miami and Las Vegas, where you are always in your air conditioned work, home or car most of the time.
So starting with the summer of 2001 in Los Angeles, I started to get really hot, especially when the desert Santa Ana winds brought in Arizona style, blow dryer heat. It made me miss the Miami humidity, where my skin was so happy, and we only really were in it when we were on the beach, otherwise you were in the comfort of central air. You know you are really from Los Angeles when you look forward to May Gray and June Gloom, where the mornings are totally overcast, it gets sunny towards late afternoon, and its a super desert hot sun, but you can always escape to the shade to get cool.
I am so grateful to have our windows open most of the time, even in our cars. I remember one winter I was visiting Montreal, and I was bundled up in coat, scarf, hat, and gloves. I walked into a store, and there was no air, there was no circulation and it was stagnant and too warm with all my attire. In Miami because of central air there is always air flow, and in Los Angeles, the air is on in public places just because fancy people want to stay looking fancy. I grew up in Denver, Colorado as a child, and don’t remember the same winter stuffiness.
I digress, as you see I am letting my thoughts flow, and enjoying all the details of my history of different climates. Summer is really here, not only the heat, but the lazy and easygoing nature. My kids get a break from school work, they are all enjoying all the trips and activities of camp. Our mornings still start early because no matter what time they go to bed, and we still put them in their room at 7pm, they wake up around 6am. We take it super easy with eating breakfast together, get our backpacks ready for the camp activity of the day, and slowly get ready for drop off around 9am. Then I am free, some days I have classes, today I am clear, so I am just enjoying nowhere to be, and slowly getting ready for Shabbat.
Being Present Is A Gift,
Shabbat is about stopping all the creating that we do, and enjoying now,
The process of creating is so fulfilling, but we need to stop and enjoy the fruits of our labor,
There is such a powerful quote below about Jewish people receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai,
This is how Jewish people try to live their lives,
Fully conscious of their blessings,
Facing challenges head on, because there is always a light at the end of the tunnel,
My light is Shabbat at the end of every week,
As my daughter and I light our candles at sundown and say our prayer,
We welcome serenity, face time, gathering, and rest,
I took a picture with my phone from a live exhibit, so here are the words if it is hard to see:
“Tales of Hasidim” Martin Buber
The Rabbi of Kotzk was asked, “Why is Shavuot called the time the Torah was given, rather than the time we received the Torah?” He answered, “The giving took place on one day, but the receiving takes place at all times.”