Too many words, too little time. I had grand plans to write about teshuvah, and how preparing for these holidays seemed to be a breeze, so different from the past two years--and then, in rapid succession, there were two deaths, a funeral, rehearsals, overdue work, exhaustion. But (knock wood, spit, and I'm almost afraid to type the words) no cold. I still have a voice. This is no assurance that I'll sound good tomorrow, but at least I'll... sound. Whew.
Although one can never really be ready, I'm incrementally more so than I was at this time last year. Meal invitations: set. (Because of the time involved with leading services, I can't spent time preparing holiday dinners like I used to. An equitable tradeoff.) House: clean. Clothing: two traditionally new outfits ready to go. Challah: just one, not round (I waited too long to go to the store, but a bagel will stand in just fine for the second). Friends and family: magnificent. I'm very lucky.
I went to a meditation retreat right before Passover, and one of our assignments was to write a letter to ourselves that they'd mail to us right before Rosh Hashanah. It arrived last week, but I only read it this afternoon. I was surprised at what I wrote; I didn't remember thinking those things. The final paragraph was a blessing my April self gave my September self, and I in turn send it out to everyone else:
"My blessing for me [and all of you] on Rosh Hashanah:
-- that I learn to trust more in myself and others;
-- that I see all the joy around me;
-- the I find the courage to seek what I want and need;
-- that this world, this New Year, be full of God and people to help me do these things, both for myself and to fulfill my responsibility in this world."
Shanah Tovah, and may the coming year bring peace, health and happiness for us all.