Let the world take you where it must because that is exactly where you need to go.
Yesterday, I flew to Omaha on a little neat plane over great plains and a sunny cold sky. I arrived at the airport at the perfect time – no security line whatsoever and an hour to kill at th Delta club.
When I arrived in this Midwest town, my hostess Mary Sue was waiting for me at the airport and she proceeded to drive me around the city, first for lunch at a charming hipster place, then to see the remodeled magnificent train station, pointing out all the history and landmarks and brilliance of Omaha, Nebraska.
Now, most people in most places offer looks of scorn when you say you’re visiting somewhere other than the world’s highlights – if it’s not Paris or London or New York or L.A., they don’t much care.
Except real life happens everywhere else, you know, and that’s exactly why I’m falling in love with Omaha.
I am here to be the Jewish Book Month featured author today at a luncheon, and I have to say, I couldn’t be more honored. What a gift! To fly me in and put me up and wine and dine me (thanks for the shared bottle of grigio last night, Suzanne and Sivi) – seriously, it’s an honor.
I feel so important – and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Yes, I wrote the book, and that’s what got me here. But it is the way I notice the world and all the specialness in it that made this lovely community invite me to town.
The people I’ve met so far have lived their lives in Nebraska. And in a Jewish community of just 5,500 it is remarkable – and ground-breaking – that everyone is friends.
Seriously. Orthodox, Conversative and Reform – they all get along. The rabbis do programs together. Nobody seems to judge. In fact, the beautiful new Temple Israel (Reform) will eventually share a landscape and a campus with a mosque and a church. No joke. I don’t see that happening in the bigger cities.
Here, people are happy. Accepting. Proud. Living real lives. Did you know the college World Series takes place in Omaha every June? I didn’t either. And now I have to plan a family trip to check it out.
When I booked the trip, I made it a quick one, to get home to my kiddos. Now I’m sorry I don’t have more time to explore. Because this is a lovely place to be – in the heartland, with people eager to share their stories and welcome you into the fold.