I’m feeling like Sukkot is here early this year. Our annual reminder of our wandering in the desert, entirely dependent on God for everything, and not knowing how long we’d be in any given place, looking for mana every morning… it’s pretty “real” right now. Our “sukkot” (booths) are 9 tents at the moment. They’re not kosher sukkot (sukkahs). The tree branches are live trees overhead, rather than pieces of the temporary structures. We’re feeling the energy of Fall coming, though. The frailty of life and our complete dependence on our Designer are vivid right now. When the wind was howling outside, and the tornado warning kept being extended every so often, we said “shechechiyanu” (blessing God for a new experience). We also sang the Modah / Modeh Ani prayer, blessing God for the Breath of Life that has been given to us. It’s ordinarily a morning prayer, thanking God for another day to house the Breath of Life we’re given. That Breath of Life is from the same Source as the wind in the tornado, so we blessed God for the good Breath of Life; the same God who designed nature to turn the tornado our direction, and away from us while we sang, as well. The Modah Ani ends with the astounded declaration, “Great is Your Faith in me!” The Almighty has given us this Breath of Life for another day. We’ve been blessed with land, tents, a generator, a power line coming in in a few weeks, a freezer, an oven, two stove tops, 5-gallon jugs for purified water… a laundromat… a tornado, rain, a few wet clothes that molded before they made it through the laundromat, a driveway half-way built, a home site nearly cleared of brush, gravel on the property, nay-sayers and supportive voices… Praise God for all of the above. They’re all blessings, whether we understand them or not. There is something designed to strengthen us in our learning path in each of these pleasant and bitter blessings. We may not understand every aspect of the blessings we’re given, but sometimes we need to receive the blessing without understanding the breadth of the ramifications. It’s OK to not understand how the tornado is a blessing. It’s OK to not understand how everything will work out regarding our homestead. It’s OK to not understand the entirety of our mission here. We’re designed for the learning path; not for omniscience. When we don’t understand, there’s power in thankfulness for the blessings we don’t understand. Only the Author of all Powers knows the power vested in thankfulness. Maybe the butterfly’s wings caused the tornado… and maybe thankfulness for the Ruach (wind / spirit) turned it away.