Dear Mom,

I am purchasing new books, navigating new streets, learning new software and making new friends. I am planting new seeds. Again.

In some time, we will observe Sukkot; we will celebrate the harvest season by eating under the stars. Harvesting is the act of reaping the benefits of hard work.

I’ve been planting seeds for years. I go to class, do my homework, take tests and write papers. I fill out applications, network (ew) and ask for help from mentors. I go on afternoon runs and try to stretch every morning. In this constant mode of planting, it’s easy to lose sight of the harvest. When will I use the research that I conducted on epic poems of the Safavid dynasty? How will Gujarati lessons contribute to my life? When will I finally accomplish something?

When I pause, I realize that I am swimming in my bounty. My accomplishments might be small, but they happen every day.

Sukkot is a time to recognize the harvest. We eat our food outdoors to connect with nature, and we thank the ground and sky for all that it has given us.

Sukkot reminds me to put my tools down and enjoy the earth’s offerings. The truth is that the planting will never end, so there’s no use in waiting to taste the fruits of my labor.

I’m sending you an unusual tzimmes recipe that celebrates the fall harvest season. It is earthy and warm. I hope you enjoy this harvest treat!

Xo,
Shaina