So it’s Sukkot right now, which is my favorite holiday.

And yes, I continue to say this about pretty much all the holidays… but that’s really only because each one actually IS my favorite while it’s happening.

I mean, come on. How is every single one of these not the best?

  • Purim. Wear costumes. Drink wine. Bake these cookies! Deliver them to friends!
  • Rosh HaShana. Release your regrets into the river. Eat a pomegranate!
  • Tu B’Shvat. Celebrate the birthday of the trees. Eat dates and almonds!
  • Lag B’Omer. Have a secret picnic of remembering!
  • Shavuot. Midnight beneath the stars. Study texts. Blintzes and sour cream!
  • Pesach. The holiday of Spring Cleaning. And kneidelach!
  • Hannukah. Light candles in a row. Eat fried things that are delicious!

All exclamation-point-worthy. Also: Yum! Do you see how hard it is?

But this…

This is the holiday of Hey, build a temporary shelter and go rest there and eat things — for a week!

It is the Festival of Blanket Forts.

It is everything I love.

It is safety and permission and hiding. Sometimes in an invisibility cloak.

It is a canopy of peace.

It is shelter, support, containment.

And you build it! For yourself! And then take it down again.

It is construction and deconstruction, just like in Shiva Nata.

The shivanautical principle that especially applies here: Using the same elements for building, undoing and then reconfiguring so that the new thing you want emerges from the old pattern.

It is peeking at the stars.

It is, as I wrote last year, “both sumptuous and temporary”.

“The roof must be made from something that once grew in the ground, and is no longer attached to the earth.”

(See: the best description of the sukkah and how it may be constructed.)

It is about structures and shelter as a field of safety to move you through the passages.

It is about harvesting. And celebrating what has been harvested.

It is safe rooms. We had one yesterday too.

Here’s what I’m practicing.

Consciously interacting with the tradition that I inherited. In my own way, with my own presence and my own understandings of how to care for myself.

Bringing play, curiosity, enthusiasm and mindfulness to the experiment.

Examining the essence of shelter and blanket-fort-ing and retreating.

Filling up on the qualities of safety, sovereignty, compassion, sweetness.

Intentionally hiding.

Invoking gestation.

Looking for the passages.

Peeking at the stars.

Making circles and circles. Inspired by the hakafot.

Discovering and inventing internal holidays just for me.

I’m also wondering if maybe in 2013 we should have a special indoor-outdoor Rally that happens over Sukkot, so that we can have blanket forts inside and a communal project-space sukkah outside. An idea…

Comment zen. Ooh, let’s make it a commenting sukkah!

This is our safe space to play and experiment.

You never have to share anything if you don’t feel like it. You can always call Silent Retreat!

We make this experience spacious by invoking amnesty. We make this experience safe by agreeing to let people have their own experience, and committing to not giving unsolicited advice. By not telling people how to feel or how to be.

We ask ourselves questions and look for the patterns that live inside of the questions.

So yes, the comments can be our own symbolic sukkah.

I have juice and tea. And my mother’s amazing honey cake. Help yourself.

Bring snacks if you like. Sit and take some time under the hanging gourds. The air is cool and crisp. There is somehow always enough time for whatever needs to happen.