Saturday, September 3, 2016

#BlogElul: Prepare

I recently spent a week visiting my Aunt Claire in the senior community where she lives in the Midwest. It’s no surprise that her closest friends are a lot like her – vibrant, engaged, engaging, fun, and interesting. I enjoyed meeting and socializing with them during my week-long visit.

By Wednesday, I had a realization: “I’m different here than in New York,” I said.

“What do you mean?”

“I smile, chat, engage – and participate in real conversations here. It’s well worth the effort and it doesn’t feel like work at all.”

“At home, I don’t even know half the people who work in my office – or anything about them -- and on some days, the most interactive exchanges I have are with the cashier who rings me up in Duane Reade or the guy who tosses my salad at lunchtime.

I know New York’s a tough place to live, but as Elul descends and I prepare to take an accounting of my soul, I hope to open it up to new beauty, goodness, kindness, decency, humor, integrity, meaning, and more. Amidst the endless chatter and noise and self-centeredness that emanate from everywhere and everyone, I not only want to seek out the beauty, goodness, kindness, decency, humor, integrity, and meaning I know are out there, I want to be touched and enriched by these things – and to touch and enrich others with them as well.

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.