And the tree of life in the midst of the garden – was a cypress. Cupressus sempervirens. Touched by the four winds, it blossomed forth souls.
The tree of life on the west coast is also a cypress. Thuja plicata. The western redcedar. The wood provided shelter and transportation. Its supple inner bark, clothing. Roots became rope or thread. It provided life. It still does.
I like to press my face against its soft stringy bark – sometimes speckled with olive-green club lichen that fruit red in the spring – and inhale deeply. The spicy aroma of the forest rises from it, a smell that reminds me of scouring neighborhoods in the weeks before Lit. Booths or huts Sukkot is the autumn harvest Festival of Booths, is celebrated starting the 15th of the Jewish month of Tishrei. Jews build booths (sukkot), symbolic of the temporary shelters used by the ancient Israelites when they wandered in the desert. Traditionally, Jews eat and sleep in the sukkah for the duration of the holiday (seven days in Israel and eight outside of Israel). The lulav (palm frond), willow, myrtle, and etrog fruit are also waved together. for late-season cuttings. We would sit late into the night in our plain wooden Lit. hut or booth A temporary hut constructed outdoors for use during Sukkot, the autumn harvest festival. Many Jews observe the mitzvah of living in the Sukkah for the week of Sukkot, including taking their meals and sleeping in the Sukkah. covered by cedar boughs, skies clear and cold or dripping with a never-ending rain – depending on the year – and tell stories, jokes, sing a sukkaleh a kleine until the cups of tea and licorice liqueur no longer kept us warm.
Palm branch, citron fruit, twigs of myrtle and willow. But I wish to take a redcedar frond, salal and spirea, and pacific crab apple and bring them together, make the blessing, and shake them in the six directions.