By Angela Holmes
Sometimes we pull away from trials of the heart and/or psyche with little emotional residue. Sometimes we learn from a trial, emerging with new insight that we can put in our pocket for the “next time.” But this “sometime” we have been living, has been the sometime of physical, mental and emotional challenge which swallowed up our country and the rest of the world. It was a trial of many blows without past lessons to guide us into the darkness of a lengthy, imposed isolation period.
You could say these past months have evolved into one super long month of Elul; the longest continuous preparation of self-reflection, possibly, ever.
Instead, the “sometime” we expect during the Jewish calendar year, a focused 29 days, became part of our daily thoughts about the why and how of the pandemic, evolving into a focus on fear, illness and survival techniques. This time evoked meaningful thoughts regarding belonging, connection, old memories, purpose, expectations of life, legacy, etc., all ending in deeper daily contemplation.
Sometimes the road of self-reflection starts as a dusty path kicking up a year of memories. This year, with the ability to take stock of our spiritual selves while in physical proximity to each other, we pray that Elul and the High Holy days will be a return to a time when we can stand together on a steadier path. As we walk the steady path together, separating us from the dusty distraction of being solitary, we can gain clarity by being in the presence of others.
Sometimes meaning and truth is a message that is awakened through struggle. Survival can be placed into perspective. Let this be a time for us to awaken in a better place of health and self-renewal for the next year.