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new year.

over the weekend we celebrated rosh hashanah - the jewish new year.  (according to the hebrew calendar, we welcomed the year 5770.)  this is a precious time of year, full of synagogue services and family meals and visits with friends and lots and lots of food - brisket and honey cake and matzoh balls and apples and honey.  all of that, and much reflection.  it is the time of year when we look back over our behavior, our words, our actions from the previous year - an inventory of sorts - and look forward to the behaviors we hope to exhibit in the coming year.  it's an overwhelming time of year, but a unique moment for a pause, for reflection, for adjusting course (there is always somewhere to adjust course, isn't there?).

i could go on and on about this holiday season - about the tradition of dipping apples in honey, about the tradition of tossing bread crumbs into a stream to symbolize casting off the bad deeds of the previous year, about the haunting melodies in the synagogue, about the apple pie i make each year like my father did before me.  i could go on, but instead i'll leave you with this photo, which, for me just about sums it all up - the glorious weather this past weekend, the blur of time speeding by, the light in each of our lives.  i'll leave you with this photo, and with these words, which come from the written material distributed at the synagogue service we attended on saturday:

"when we really begin a new year it is decided...who shall be truly alive; and who shall merely exist."

that is, after all, the distinction i am continually trying to make - to live fully, to be truly alive, rather than to merely exist.  

wishing you all a moment of pause, a bit of time for reflection, and a happy new year - whether you celebrate this particular holiday, or not.

{also - reminding you that tomorrow is the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere, making today the very last day to shop the beach collection.  tomorrow, like summer, it will be gone.}

Reader Comments (20)

so beautiful, Emily. I agree that we all need that kind of moment. Thank you for sharing yours.
September 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Jackson
I really enjoyed that quote and the photo. Food for thought - thanks.
September 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterclaire
beautiful, emily. all of it. i'm going to be thinking about these words often, i think.
September 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTara Thayer
happy new year! such nice thoughtful words today. Thank you.
September 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTracy
beautiful imagery. beautiful thoughts. thank you.
September 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterchez danisse
Thank you for that. Happy New Year.
September 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMegan
happy new year, emily. thank you for these reflections, and for that quote... something to keep in mind always. xo
September 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteramisha
I love to hear about your traditions, sweet Emily.

Happy New Year to you and your family.
September 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia A.
Happy New Year to you and yours.I love new beginnings. I appreciate hearing about your traditions.
September 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRW
Happy New Year to you, Emily, and thank you so much for sharing the fullness of your living here.
September 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterstefani
truly alive or merely exist....perfection. That sentence sums up my personal mission statement. What a lovely post Em.
September 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrachel | buttons magee
oh, i love this. and i love hearing about your holidays and understanding them more and more each year. thanks, friend.
September 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commentererin
Shana Tova Emily! This is exactly the post that I've been thinking about writing, but not able to find the words. I'm so glad you articulated what this time of year means. This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Happy and healthy year to you and your family. xo
September 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjulia
Thank you Emily for the reminder of living fully, even when it feels hard to do so. I like the image of casting bread crumbs into a stream too.
September 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterheather smith jones
Shana Tova!May your year be as sweet as honey!Beautiful Picture...
September 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElisabelle
1. I should probably be Jewish.

2. Because autumn is always my time of new beginnings.

3. And also, that bit about truly living vs. merely existing? That's my life's work!

Happy New Year to you. May it be full of promise and good work.

September 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGrace
Beautifully written... Thanks for the reminder to pause and take stock. What a simple, yet often overlooked concept. I loved reading this - thank you, thank you.-maria
September 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commentervintage simple
L'Shana Tova Emunateka, Emily! Here's to a happy, healthy, bountiful year for All!

And Chag Sameach Sukkot (I think that's the right greeting:)
October 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSue
Shana Tova!I love this blurry picture:)
October 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElisabelle
Thanks. I think you just gave me my moment of quiet.
October 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa Q

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