Time of Renewal: Equinox

RogueRiverPicWe walked amongst leaf-lined paths, damp from the night rains. The river rushed and curdled beside us with that soothing sound of ever-flowing water. A purpose on a path – to flow from one point to another, until its destination is reached.

It was early morning, and we talked as we walked. A few people passed us on the trail, many with dogs, but otherwise it was quiet. Not many people were awake and out.

It was old friends connecting, talking about mundane things and the big ones, too. What really happens after death? The children, coming-of-age, in their own awkward ways. The way it is to be a fortysomething woman who works and raises children and how very tiring that can be.

I am having a hard time finding my message this morning. So much to write about and yet at the same time, nothing at all.

This is a big week. A two-day holiday of renewal, celebrating the new Jewish year, and 14 people coming to dinner on Thursday. The autumn equinox, when we cross over from the wispiness of summer to the serious fall, when darkness comes sooner than we expect every single day and with it, the cool air of things ending.

I spent the weekend ferrying kids between places. A son at his friend’s bar mitzvah. A daughter to the mall for the clothes she needs. The whole family to the farmers market. Grocery shopping. Bookstore – twice. Cooking for the holiday. I think there was more but I forget because we’ve stepped into Monday with all of its own expectations and demands.

It’s 47 degrees outside, a rude awakening. There will be a fast day of work followed by pre-holiday haircuts and dinner at a client’s restaurant. Then homework. Then bed. There isn’t even time enough to sleep, at least not for me, but really not for any of us.

We prepare for the big moments, for the contemplative days, for the days of reflection and awe, and then, hopefully, we immerse in their sanctity and quiet, to truly reflect and begin our path in a different way, a clean slate. On the second day, we will throw stale bread crumbs into a rushing river as symbols of the bad choices flung forever away, the good choices now ours to hold.

It seemed I spent years yearning to become a mother and now, my house is filled with children growing up and away into their own unique independent selves. My eldest is 12 1/2, on the brink of teenagerdom, on the brink of manhood.

Life passes in significant and little ways, a movie before my eyes. Thank God we have moments to stop and ponder, moments to celebrate, prayers to recognize the infinite in the finite, the significant in the insignificant.

We walked along the leafy path beside a river that goes for miles and miles – way beyond our comfortable cradle of community, reaching its fingers into other communities that we don’t really know. There are so many ways in which we are all truly connected.

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