Blah Blah Blahg

A little of this, a little of that, and a whole lot of blah blah blah....

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Honey, I'm HOME!

I'm here! I'm FINALLY here! Everything is unpacked and put away (which is refreshingly easy to do without so much stuff), and I'm getting reacquainted with the city that was home for about the first 14 years of my life and about 14 later, still feels that way.
It's big in all the right the ways:
  • more efficient public transit
  • culturally, architecturally, ethnically, and socially diverse
  • what feels to me now like a robust and booming Jewish community--I am not the *only* one walking to synagogue on Shabbos, I can leave my apartment in the afternoon these days (being now in the month of Hebrew month of Elul) and hear the shofar blast from within the neighborhood, I can buy kosher meats and other foods at many grocery stores, not just one...
And it's still Smallbany in all the right ways:
  • New friends are warm and welcoming as though I've known them my whole life
  • The day camp I am volunteering at this week took a field trip to the gymnastics center where I had my birthday party, um, 22 years the same building as the music school where I studied piano for 11 years. Both businesses are still in thriving and running under the same directors.
  • I ran into some dear family friends in the lobby of the local Jewish Community Center pool after I'd finished telling my campers how when I was a little girl, I used to come here with my best friend and her parents to go swimming. I hadn't seen them in about 15 years, but there they were, right where we'd left off!
  • My bank teller lives around the corner from my family's first house here. Here sister-in-law lives on the very same street. We both attended the same neighborhood elementary school.
These are some of the things I find just so endearing about this area. In just about a week of living here, I already feel at home! And the very same "small world" mentality that grounds me here reminds me how connected I still am to my dear friends in Spokane, Washington. It's certainly not the same with 2,600 miles of I-90 between us, but modern technology makes a sudden thought easy to share in an instant and I treasure my weekly phone calls before Shabbos now more than ever.

As I briefly mentioned above, we are in the Hebrew month of Elul, the last month in the Jewish year. This month marks a yearly period of introspection, self-reflection and preparation as we near Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. During this time, we are encouraged to reflect on the year behind us as we prepare, G-d willing, to embark on an even better year ahead. What things went well this past year? What are goals or intentions we might have? How can we strengthen our connection to G-d, to our families and to our community?

In brief, this has been a year of huge successes, huge transitions, and huge blessings. I am thankful to G-d for this and grateful to the many friends and family members who continue to support me. I will start a new year in a "new" city (albeit familiar), with a fabulous new job and on this new part of my journey. It is tremendously exciting and exhilarating. At the end of each day, however, it is immensely comforting that wherever I am--and wherever I go, my faith in G-d and in the cycle of time that passes with each day and each year is the home that I continually to return to. Wherever I am and wherever I go, that is where my friends are, where my family resides and where my soul remains. As I left Spokane early in the morning at the end of last month, I remarked to myself how grateful I was that my heart was big enough to hold all of the love I felt from friends there and friends and family here; love that big could never fit in suitcase or a box!

Perhaps this time of season marks the closing of one year and onset of new one for you, too. Or perhaps it simply marks the end of summer and maybe a new school year. Either way, may we all be blessed to find an abundance of blessings for which we feel grateful and the strength and courage to move proceed on whatever lay ahead. May we find joy in the last dog days of August and comfort in the crisper air that now accompanies the setting of the summer sun. And wherever you happen to me, may you, too, always feel at home, sweet home!

Because I cannot mention "dog days of August" without at least ONE Puppy Pic from NH!