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The Day of Atonement

October 3, 2006

It’s a day of reflection. Time to think of the year that’s past, the good and the bad, the moments you regret, the moments you’ll cherish. A time to think of the year to come, to hope for more of the good and less of the bad, to create more moments to cherish and hopefully fewer you’ll regret this time next year. We sat in temple this morning, being guided through these thoughts, offered nuggets to take back and further reflect upon, prayed in hopes that God would forgive(whether you believe in one being that can forgive or not), prayed in hopes that we could forgive and would be forgiven. We come home to reflect.

The washing machine was turned on, the computers started up, email was opened, and the TV turned on. Then the power went out. We need to reflect, not distract ourselves with what we do everyday anyway. This day has to be different. We have to take the time, whether chosen or not, to think of how to better ourselves, our relationships with our spirituality (God if you believe), and others in the New Year. In Temple we decree that God said he has forgiven us, that we’ve showed ourselves ready for a New Year with less “sin”. Yet, God cannot forgive us for sins we have committed against others, and ourselves. That is the key point for me. I have to focus on myself, I’ve been trying to focus on myself… and yet that includes opened internet pages, a TV turned on. That’s not complete focus, in fact I think it may be distraction, I’m avoiding the time I need to spend in my own head, scared of what may come up. That is what this day is for, that is why the power is out.

So here I sit, on a windy porch, watching the light move on the changing colors of the leaves. I notice the contrast between nature and man in the poles we’ve erected to run electricity to our house, only to be blown out by the force of wind. I lean back in the rocker and reflect on the year, on the tumultuous events of the spring and summer. Maybe I am ready to call this a new year, maybe I can really think today about who I am, who I’ve been, what I’ve been and done to others and how to forgive those who have sinned against me and ask for forgiveness from those I feel I’ve sinned. The wind picks up as my mind races with thoughts of the year, with thoughts of change, and life, and death. I feel the wind gusts calm and I start to slow down too, letting the natural events of the day take me through my reflection. That is how it should be. No electricity necessary. Sitting on a porch with the wind moving my thoughts is how I will spend my Yom Kippur, and apparently its how whatever else is out there, whoever is charting the course and making the events of the day occur wants it to be spent too.

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