The last few months have been an utter whirlwind. That’s a major understatement! Any of my friends or family reading this post know, it was a topsy turvy year for me, starting with an expired passport.
My husband and I missed the winter in our beloved village of Ajijic and spent two and a half months on the Jersey Shore through the gracious generosity of one of my dearest friends. Finally getting to Mexico at the end of March, staying until mid August to witness the most beautiful of seasons, the rainy season, and then to Northern California for a family function and reconnection. I’m setting the stage here so bear with me! Northern California was followed by a short stay at another dear friend’s apartment in Jersey City, then back to the Shore to pick up our car, and then a week at Hunter Mountain until we could get back into our rented-out house at the end of August! It makes me laugh just to type this! My husband called this “a Joy trip!” A bit convoluted, over stretched, circuitous. but in my mind, oh so logical!
The beauty of the last several months, both in Mexico and the U.S. has been reconnecting with people, whom I had not seen in a year and a half to two years. Like many of us, Covid left me afraid, cautious, super aware of our potential to infect. It was only after being double vaccinated that I felt liberated, free. The opportunity to hug, wrap one’s arms around another human being, kiss on the cheek, double kiss, embrace was wonderful. You don’t realize how much you miss it until you are deprived of it.
I always knew that family and friends were important to me and I try very hard to maintain relationships. I know who is good at calling, initiating, texting, Facetime, What’s App. I know who is not, but that they are thinking of me and they just didn’t get around to reaching out.
This brings me to Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, just celebrated by observant Jews around the world. Yom Kippur is a day of reflection, a day of prayer, heavy duty prayer, much standing, chanting, singing, repenting. We ask God for forgiveness on this one day with an open heart, keen focus, and humility. I have celebrated what are called the high holy days all my life, from childhood to now. Many of us fast from sundown the previous evening to sundown the next day, a period of 24 hours, no drink, no food, no marital relations no bathing, no work, nothing but prayer and thought. I light candles in memory of my parents, my grandparents, my great grandparents, as my mother did before me. I say Yizkor, a service in remembrance of those who have died. With tears in my eyes, I recite Kaddish, an ancient Jewish prayer for the dead. It is a one day solemn holiday, but also a time for hope, joy, and optimism, as we are given a chance to start anew. We ask God to inscribe us in the book of life, to be granted a year of good health and happiness.
I think about the power of reconnecting with people who are dear to me and the holiday I have just observed. I feel hopeful that life with all its ups and downs, will deliver whatever is meant for me, for my family.
And so this topsy turvy year that started with an expired passport, a missed winter in sunny Mexico, and a wealth of riches in seeing people I love comes to an end , at least on the Jewish calendar. We celebrate 5782 and look forward to the world’s new year 2022 in January. We pray for more hugs, more visits in person, more celebration, peace and good health.
-Know how fortunate you are to reconnect with friends and family. A global pandemic might take that away at any time.
-It is not a given the people you love will be there tomorrow.
-Reflect, ponder, think, be grateful for what you have on this earth.
And as always, enjoy the ride.
xox Barclay & Joy