Rosh Hashanah feels like it crept up on me this year, swirling in with the messiness of September and endless days of rain. It starts tomorrow night. Usually by this time, I will have stacked up a pile of holiday books, dug out our shofars, and have big bowls filled with apples as seasonal decor. But none of those things have happened yet, and they may not. This time of year always involves intense juggling of schedules while attempting to craft together a rhythm that works for everyone. That intensity increased when we made the decision several years ago to become a family that lives in both the homeschool (Camille) world and the traditional school world (Noah). And for some reason this year feels even more overwhelming. I have been puzzled by that feeling because although both kids have fairly busy schedules, we have actually cut back on their after-school activities and I have been diligent about trying to take of myself with daily yoga/meditation and regular yoga classes. I think that feeling of unease is related to a larger sense of uncertainty hovering in my conscious and unconscious mind.
We are entering our final year in the DC area and that always brings with it a slew of mixed feelings and preparatory anxiety. We have lived here longer than anywhere else in our history as a military family, so the roots are a bit deeper and twistier, and digging them up will be painful. We are also facing a move back to Japan with much older children and a crazy muppet of a dog. There are more emotional, physical, and logistical details than in our previous international moves. But I in addition to those moving-related worries, I am feeling a deeper sense of concern about the current state of our world...wars that never seem to end; racism that seeps, stings, and slays; the upcoming election; illnesses that attack with a vengeance; natural disasters that change lives overnight; and disconnection, apathy, and insularity.
Needless to say, I haven't been sleeping well or living with a light heart lately. And that's exactly why Brain Picking's feature about E.B. White's letter came at just the right moment this week. E.B. White is one of my favorite writers and this letter of his is something I want carry with me right now. Perhaps something everyone should be carrying with them right now. I am tucking it into my pocket as we prepare to enter into this contemplative period of the Jewish High Holy Days. Wind the clock, sprout seeds of goodness, and maintain hope for a sweet new year. L'shanah Tovah!
|Williamsburg, Virginia, September 2016|