We said the standing prayer once again. Now I remembered why services were so long. Didn't we mean it the first time around? I tried to stumble through the Hebrew, but quickly gave up and switched to English instead. I had never seen this translation; it was modern, without the thees and thous, and much more interesting. I read:
We thank You and praise You morning, noon and night for Your miracles which daily attend us and for Your wondrous kindnesses.
I turned the page, and it said:
For all these blessings we shall ever praise and exalt You.
And more lines like this. There were also parts about asking, pleading--give me life, bring peace--lines that had always bothered me, because I knew God was not a wizard. There would continue to be war, and we would die one day. So I chose to ignore those lines and, in the process, bypassed the thanking and praising ones as well. But now they jumped out at me, because all of a sudden I was bursting with thanks: for the music, the crickets, the heavy branches with dark green leaves stretching over the sunroof. For the guy I might meet this weekend, or even not. For being away from the city and forgetting my crappy week and, momentarily, that I was supposed to be cool. For new experiences that made me very nervous, and even for the idea of thankfulness in the first place.