Melancholy …

I’m melancholy. I’ve always loved that word. It’s just so descriptive. It’s not really sad or happy; it’s a combination of so many things. It’s part philosophical; part whimsical. The dictionary defines melancholy as “a deep, pensive, sadness.”

I’m not really sad…not really. Pensive – perhaps that is closer. I’m feeling the weight of a ton of thoughts on my head. It’s part the season, I guess. This is the Jewish month of Tishrei – the start of the new year and Yom Kippur is coming.

Yom Kippur is our Judgement Day – the day we stand before God – every year and pray while God above does an accounting of how we behaved, how we treated others this past year. Our good on one side, our bad on the other. If that doesn’t put you in a melancholy mood, there’s the discussions going on around Israel and the feeling that there’s an avalanche coming our way – too big to ignore.

Those of us who have been here for two wars (three if you count the Second Gulf War, which wasn’t really a war for us despite all the worry and preparation), yield to those who have been here for three and four wars. Those who have come more recently listen. “I feel sick,” writes one woman in my neighborhood after a discussion on gas masks and preparation.

I understand what she feels. The discussions sometimes make me feel sick. I have the good fortune…(a bit sarcastic here)…of having more experience than she has and I know how often the winds of war seem to blow in the Middle East without actually resulting in war.

As always, you never have the peace of mind to know whether these winds are the real ones, whether there will be a war with Iran. Elie says that we can’t have a war in the traditional sense with Iran because it is so far away – and so what we would have, essentially, is an exchange of missiles. That doesn’t really help much. On the other hand, any action we take to stop Iran’s nuclear threat, could trigger a reaction (or even proactive action) from Hezbollah/Lebanon, Syria looking for a way to distract the world, or Gaza. Lovely.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of watching my grandson for a few hours. He is so active now, so playful and even so communicative. Little words and gestures that show there is such an amazing brain at work there in the gorgeous head. He walked/crawled over to our side table and began pulling out the gas mask boxes that we’ve stored underneath, out of sight but never quite out of mind.

A thought went through my mind as I watched him play…please God, please, let us leave those masks inside the boxes.

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