Even in Phoenix, the heat is waning. This coming week promises evenings below 80 and several days that don’t reach 100 degrees. School has started. We are moving. It does feel like a New Year.
Tonight is the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The Jewish calendar runs on a lunar cycle, so the time of New Year varies, but it is always in the fall. I love the idea that as harvest brings in the food that will sustain us, we also begin to think about what sustains our spirits.
The New Year celebration lasts 10 days, from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, the most solemn day of the year. A folktale for this time of year says that on New Year, your fate for the next year is written into the Book of Life. You have 10 days to think about your life, what works well, and what needs changing, and to make those changes. On Yom Kippur, the Book of Life is sealed for another year, and with it, your fate.
I like the folk tale. For many, the Days of Awe are days of concentrating on good deeds, apologizing for wrongs inflicted, and for thinking about the year ahead. And the cooler weather is conducive to that line of thought.
So, whether you celebrate Rosh Hashanah or not, whether you want to think about your life or are already deep in a mindfulness practice, may the next 10 days bring you joy and healing, love and acceptance.
—Quinn McDonald is enjoying the season.