Wednesday, September 28, 2016

#BlogElul: Create

I’m the first to admit it can be hard to create community in New York City.

But not tonight.

We saw the empty table in the small, crowded Starbucks at the same time. She needed the plug for her computer. I had paper, a pen, and a letter to write, so we agreed to share it, and we each got down to work.

I thought she might be a wedding planner or a personal shopper as she described a dress with bell sleeves to her “client” on the phone, noting that the store where it is available would be open until 8 o’clock tomorrow night and until 7 on Friday. Meanwhile, I was writing to my friend in hospice, telling him of times we’d spent together that hold special meaning for me. As I addressed the envelope for my letter, she finished her call and before long, we were chatting.

As it turns out, her mother’s getting married in the middle of October, but the dress the bride bought back in the spring no longer fits. Although her daughter seemed somewhat exasperated by the short timeframe in which to find a replacement, I reminded her to be grateful to have something as lovely as a wedding to celebrate. Pointing to my letter, I told her what I’d been writing.

“We’re each doing our mitzvah,” she said.

Our conversation continued, we exchanged email addresses, and by the time I got home after tonight’s Torah chanting rehearsal for the High Holidays, this email awaited me:
Hi Jane,
It was so nice talking with you this evening. I would love to meet you for a cup of coffee sometime soon. Like I said earlier, moving and meeting new friends is hard, especially as an adult woman.
My schedule is pretty flexible so give me a couple days and times that work for you.
Have a good night and I look forward to chatting again soon.
No matter what comes from this experience, it is a good omen for the new year.

Inspired by Ima on (and off) the Bima, this #BlogElul post is one in a series marking the days of the Hebrew month of Elul, which precedes the Jewish High Holidays and traditionally serves as a time of reflection and spiritual preparation for the new year.