It just struck me that today is a Jewish holiday.
There haven’t been any looming dates on my calendar this year, and while it’s freeing, it has also been hard. For the past 13 years the High Holy Days have been the season around which my entire year was shaped. Even during the early years of trying to get pregnant, I avoided certain months so as to not be birthing a new year and a new human at the same time.*
I’m both sad and not that the holidays have slipped by me this year. Rueful. That’s the word. This is not a year for me to attend synagogue, or to decorate the back portico and call it a sukkah. This is a year for me to take care of my soul and my previous practices don’t currently serve me in that way. I’m sad about that. And also not.
I thought a lot about what I should do for Yom Kippur, but ultimately waited until the very day and then asked myself, “what do you need right now?” Forests were my first sanctuaries; rivers and oceans my first holy sites, images of which emerged in a breadcrumb trail that led me to the Yom Kippur I needed to have.
This is not a humble brag, but an invitation to think beyond the shoulds, when it comes to marking the passage of time. Today is the final day of Sukkot, and tomorrow is Simhat Torah. Embrace the fall harvest & eat some squash! Sit in a moment of gratitude for the abundance that is yours! And tomorrow, if you can’t go dance with a Torah scroll, can you set aside time to learn something new about yourself? Listen to that podcast everyone has been telling you about? Inner work, too, is Torah.
If you forgot that today was a Jewish holiday, that’s ok. You’re not a bad Jew. Nod at the holidays, listen to what they’re trying to teach you, and invite those lessons into your brainspace & heartspace.
Chag Sameach - Splendid Holy Time,
* There is much to unpack here, but we’ll do that another time.