Yom Kippur


It’s become part of my Yom Kippur tradition to read my blog posts from past years, then add the current year’s reflections. Can this really be my fourth year of posting Yom Kippur thoughts? The eighth year of celebrating the High Holiday days without Eric?

Yes, this is year four, and yes, Eric still isn’t here.  But life is rich with family and friends. Adrienne, Matt, Emilio and Melia were all here.  Adrienne and I attended Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur services with Mark and Andi, as usual, and as usual had a lot to discuss about what we did and didn’t like in the service, the sermons, our own reflections as we thought about transgressions of the last year, forgiveness of ourselves and others, and intentions to do good and be well in the year ahead.  The afternoon of fasting at home found us gravitating towards the sun on the porch and in the yard, as it always seems to, our hungry bodies wanting at least some of the last warm sun of the season.

Our festive break fast was joined by friends last night.  We began by remembering those who aren’t still here to celebrate with us, then feasted on the garden bounty of three of us at the table and more good discussions about life and art, endurance and jelly fish and tractors, tomatoes and the after effects of fasting.

After dinner, Emilio wanted to go out outside, so he and I walked out on the porch together to watch the last of the light on the western horizon go from pale to dark.  “The sun is going down,” Emilio said.  “But it will be back.”  He nodded his head.  He’s closing in on 3 years old and is constantly putting together more and more about how the world works.

“Yes, it will come back from over there,” I said, pointing to the other side of the house.  “The sun comes up in the east, and goes down in the west, over there,” and I pointed to the horizon of trees now silhouetted against the low light.  Emilio watched me, alert and listening.  “We live in a world that’s like a big ball,” I said and made my arms into a circle.  “The sun comes up over there, and crosses the sky during the day,” now pointing, tracing the arc of the sun with my finger.  “Then it goes behind the other side of the ball where the light can’t reach us.”  And I ran my finger around the bottom edge of an imaginary circle, Emilio and I sitting on the porch in the middle.

Emilio nodded again.  “That’s why it’s dark,” he said.

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