Wednesday, October 5, 2016

My First Rosh Hashanah

   Since working at a Jewish school, I've been interested in the Jewish observances.  This year, I watched  several events at the school which I found very inspiring, the blowing of the shofar, for example.

     Because the school was closed for Rosh Hashanah, I decided to celebrate Rosh Hashanah.  Things started of with an invitation to dinner with the Warshovsky family in Chapel Hill.  I thought of the song we sing at Thanksgiving, "Over the Hills and Through the Woods," as I drove along a country road, past old gas stations, tobacco barns, and run down  motels.  Then I got to Jordan Lake and was surrounded by beautiful, blue, clear water.  The Warchovsky home is a beautiful estate called Legacy which has an automatic gate that opened as I entered.

    Present were husband Steve, son Josh, and his girlfriend Jamie.  Jamie and I were the only "gentiles" there.  We sat on an enclosed deck overlooking the woods and I munched on celery and dip while the others drank some wine and we all traded stories of how much we love the area.  The Warchovskys moved from New York and spoke of the harsh winters there.   Steve made a comment something to the effect that he felt like he'd been released after 40 years in jail.  I really sensed how happy he was to be in his new location and home.

     One thing that really made an impression on me:  he said that he enjoyed DPAC more than Lincoln Center.  Parking is hard to find at Lincoln Center and it's in a bad area.   They saw Aretha Franklin and talked about what a champion she is.  She chipped her tooth on the way to the theater and still gave a stunning performance.

     On the first day of Rosh Hashana, I decided to have a juice fast: a soymilk, strawberry, and banana smoothie for breakfast and spinach smoothies for lunch and dinner.  Tuesday afternoon, I wrote down three shortcomings:  procrastination, resentment, and unforgiveness.  I found three stones and took them to the dam on the Al Bueler Trail, and cast them into the water.  My first practice of the ritual of the "Tashlich."

    Monday evening was spent with my church community group discussing the subject of "work."  I realized then that I've probably spent too much time looking for work and not enough time developing my writing and just enjoying being retired.  I'm seeking balance.

     On the second day, I had a healthy breakfast of raw oatmeal fruit, with broccoli salad, black beans, sweet potatoes, and applesauce for dinner.  I went to my poetry class and we discussed our poems for two hours.  I'm obsessed with "iron gall ink" which was used by my great grand mother in her diary, written on the occasion of her leave taking from Tennessee to Virginia.  I wrote a poem one sentence in that diary about how my grandmother managed to sneak the diary for a sweet message to her mother, signing it Love, Birdie.

     In the afternoon of the second day of Rosh Hashanah, I journeyed to Aveda for the most wonderful, relaxing facial and conversation with Katie.  I admired their display of "Chakra" sprays and the imposing wooden statue illustrating the seven chakras.  Steve, one of the staff, is accomplished in Reiki, which I'd love to experience again.  I ended my first Rosh Hashana with dinner on the patio, serenaded by blackbirds.

     Spent the rest of the evening relaxing with a documentary and a bit of the to bed by eleven for a peaceful sleep with vivid dreams.


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