I am very grateful for Shabbos.
No cooking today, hot water was already in the pump thermos, the phone did not ring.
For a true shabbos treat, I took a long walk in the nearby Open Space, and midway sat by a rock in a pine grove---and just sat. I could smell the pine, and hear the birds and insects, and distant walkers and their dogs.
I took a blessed shabbos nap in the afternoon.
I dealt with email this evening---that's an abrupt return to weekday reality.
Tomorrow morning early, I resume---and, I hope, finish---the kashering of the kitchen.
It is so different, doing this yearly purging and cleaning of the house alone.
Among other things, I am aware of how much "stuff" there is that was useful and fitting when my beloved was here: groups/ classes, and individuals passed through this house almost daily, usually making a beeline from the front door straight down to his davvenen room, but also often stopping to have tea or a meal. Now...? I am slowly getting used to hosting my own small class that meets here once a week.
I just cannot manage to go through everything alone like I used to when we did some of it together.
A kind young man volunteered some time last week to help me, and we took the nine 3-gallon glass bottles down to Eldorado Springs to replenish the drinking and cooking water. He was just enough taller than me to get the top of the kitchen cabinets with the help of a stepladder.
How did I do it last year? What was I thinking?
Pesach seders were so rich and varied and multi-leveled when we did them together. The guests varied, therefore so did the depth and flavor of the table conversation. It is guided by the rituals of the seder, but often, the conversations that develop form the real content. This year, the challenge will be how to neither ignore nor be hijacked by current politics, but rather to consistently aim for a deeper level.
Blessings. Good night.