Today is big – it’s both my birthday and the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It’s a day of fasting, forgiveness and atonement. Not exactly birthday celebration material. It’s okay – I tend to use my birthday as a time to evaluate and take stock of where I am and where I hope to be. So, to some extent, the Yom Kippur birthday fete is a positive.
Yom Kippur is a day set aside to examine who you are and to ask forgiveness for the sins you’ve committed. It’s a chance to confront your own humanity and commit to making changes. If you are sincere, hopefully you’ll be inscribed in the Book of Life.
I’m not big on synagogues and formal services, they tend to foster a pack mentality and a disconnect from a personal sense of spirit. I want face time with God. And yes, I believe in a God – a warm, kind, generous, forgiving God who loves humans and allows them the freedom to test their limits. My God is in all the beauty surrounding us. Finding beauty in unexpected places reinforces my belief in a higher power.
Today, instead of going to synagogue on Yom Kippur, I went for a walk along one of Charlotte’s nature trails. As I strolled, I inhaled fresh air filled with the scent of trees, flowers and soil. I laughed at a dog trying to catch a child on a scooter. I took photos, trying to capture the scene for my own memory. New angles, different light, all those things background to my conversation with God.
I’ve tried to stop asking God for things; it feels too greedy. It’s not always easy, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked for help finding an agent or winning megamillions. But I try to acknowledge the positives and give thanks to God. After all, God is here for us all to see; we’re usually too preoccupied to notice. Today, I slowed down and saw evidence of God.
Not a bad start to my next circle around the sun.
I hope I’ll be inscribed in the Book of Life again this year. I’ve got a lot of living to do. I hope you are as well. L’shanah Tovah, Happy New Year, my friends!
And please, let me know your thoughts on the subject!