At last

I slept like a log, exchanged tales over morning coffee, re-packed, met with our long-time financial advisor, and brunched with my friend and hostess in a quirky-funky new restaurant/thrift shop.
Rented the car and promptly got completely lost in Germantown trying to remember how to get to friends in West Mt. Airy---territory I once knew well.  Then I got even worse lost trying to get to my cousin's on the other side of town.  I finally asked the driver of a nearby car at a stoplight, and she guided me towards the main thoroughfare, Roosevelt Boulevard.

My 90-year old cousin is a night owl, and we just visited until this moment, almost a half-hour after mmidnight.  At eight in the morning, she will be heading to work, and I am deployed to make chicken soup.

Oops...I just fell asleep sitting up at the laptop.  
Good night.

After Shavuot

This time, from the sabbath through the end of the holiday of Shavuot at sundown today, has been out-of-normal-time.  First, we have been at the Isabella Freedman retreat center in rural Western Massachusetts---beautiful.  Then, there have been wonderful musicians, teachers and spiritual leaders here, some old friends, and some new.  And the holiday itself is not only the commemoration of a communal acceptance of a complex ethic, a way of life; it is a re-calibration to receive the instructions we need for now.

I have looked out on lush trees and a lake (inhabited by a very large and very old turtle, whom I believe to be the guardian and keeper of the lake,) clouds and sunsets, rain, sun, birds, chipmunks.
The people who live here and learn (then often teach) organic gardening and goat-keeping are varied and delightful.  I had the joy of visiting with folks I've not seen since last year, and meeting new ones; and the deep delight of attending classes, learning from splendid teachers.  
And since it has been the sabbath followed by holiday, I have not opened the laptop since last Thursday night.  What a gift for mental health...(none of the nasty political bits for a whole 4-1/2 days.)

Tomorrow I head towards Philadelphia, sharing driving with a friend; there I will visit family and friends before heading home to Colorado.
Blessings on us all to hear clearly the newest version of what Zalman, z'l, used to call our "marching orders" for this next period of time, and to be able to carry them out, to the benefit of our beleaguered planet.
Good night.

Uncharacteristically early

I am dashing this off before going upstairs to pack.
As usually happens the day before travel, or before the arrival of company to stay, or a major religious holiday: a surprise.  This time, it was the clogging of the garbage disposal, backing up into the sink, which I did not succeed in  curing myself.  So I did indeed need to call a plumber.  (Just what I needed today.)

But everything else is well, and now I am heading upstairs to pack lightly (G-d willing) for two weeks.
I will try to write tomorrow night, if I can.  In any case, I hope to return to these pages on Tuesday or Wednesday night.  

I wish us all a holiday of revelation, recalibration, and rededication to the deepest intent of our hearts.

Good night.

Wet

It has been raining on and off since yesterday, sometimes heavy, sometimes slow gentle soaking.

So I did a necessary and timely task:  I weeded.  Lots.  There's still more to go, but I did plenty.
What I didn't count on was the complaint of my muscles:  I crouched a lot, and my rear end really feels it, and is telling me so.  

I was invited this evening to a concert of a wonderful local women's chorus---musically, a great treat.
The venue was a beautiful old church.
The music was touching, lovely, beautifully sung by a small chorus of women.

In the pew directly in front of me sat a couple, probably in their late 40's-to-mid-fifties.
He was just gently resting his hand on her hair.

I came completely undone.
This still happens, now and then:  suddenly something like that will catapault me into a state of intensely missing-Zalman.  
The simplest thing will do it, like seeing this couple so quietly and lovingly connected; then I remember sitting in other church pews at concerts with Zalman in that state of connection.  I see this couple and remember that a great portion of my life/myself has been amputated, and where my beloved used to be, beside me, now there is a void.  I miss the level on which we shared.

This time of my life is not like simply being alone; I was alone for many years.  This is alone-plus-the-absence: different.
Balance does return.  It just takes a little time.
And the beauty, both of what we had, and what there is now, is worth it.
Good night.