When I think of home, I think of “being home,” and that can be in my physical space or just with people and places that bring me that same comfort. I think this sense of “being home” is one of the most important feelings we can have – it speaks to safety, harmony, peace and love.
In the fall, the leaves and our gardens, landscape and shrubbery change in shape, condition and color. That to me is a metaphor for life changes. People and places who are dear to us may also change in form and shape, but they are still with us and are a part of our root system.
There is a wonderful quote at Aish.com comparing humans to trees. I could really relate to this as I often see trees that remind me of people and families.
Rabbi Dov Lev writes, in an article called “The Jewish Garden,” that “The Torah compares a human being to a tree. There is much that we can learn from trees – from their vibrancy, growth patterns, and perseverance under difficult conditions. This is true for people as well. To paraphrase the Talmud: ‘If you have many branches and few roots, then a wind can turn your tree upside down. Whereas if you have few branches and many roots, even if all the winds of the world were to blow, you will not budge from your place.’ ”
This quote speaks to our deep connection to our faith: God, our beliefs and goals are what get us through the windy days and the tumultuous times. Examples of this are weathering downturns in business thanks to the “roots” of longevity, reputation and solid performance, and weathering relationship and family issues thanks to the “roots” of commitment, resilience and determination.
The trees that look brittle and dead in winter have a strong root system so they will thrive again when the season changes. So, no matter what the situation is, we can feel at home in our “rootedness” and see possibilities and hope.
PATRICIA RASKIN hosts “The Patricia Raskin Show” on Saturdays at 3 p.m. on WPRO, 630 AM/99.7 FM and on Mondays at 2 p.m. on voiceamerica.com. Raskin is a board member of Providence’s Temple Emanu-El.