Thursday, October 01, 2009

Here We Go Again

Hudson Valley
Hudson River Valley, as seen from Boscobel, 9/7/09

Two co-workers just passed by my desk. If they had glanced my way, they would have caught me staring intently at my cubicle walls (it’s what I do), perpetuating an internal debate over the walls’ exact shade of beigeness (today’s vote goes to “Aged Phlegm.” Apologies, but I’ve got allergies. They color my world.)

But the co-workers didn’t notice my activity (or lack thereof); they were busy discussing the significance of today’s date.

Co-worker #1: “It’s a New Year! 2009 is over.”
Co-worker #2: “Thank God.”

Those of you outside The Firm may find this a bit premature, seeing as it’s October 1st and not January 1st. But today marks the end of one fiscal year for The Firm, and the start of another. For all business intents and purposes, it is 2010* around here.

I’ve been thinking a lot about new years lately. In Hebrew class, we learned there are actually 4 different “New Years” on the Jewish calendar. One for kings, another for trees, plus one to use when calculating tithing, and a fourth “New Years” celebration for the birthday of creation. Seems kind of strange right?

But as my co-workers’ conversation proved, those of us following the good ol’ Gregorian calendar are no stranger to multiple stops and starts of our years. We mark new years based on our businesses’ books. We start over again on January 1st with champagne and kisses. We tick off another year wherever/ whenever our birthdays fall on the calendar. And whether you’re in second grade or you finished your formal education 9 years ago (ahem), September’s back-to-school season always feels like a fresh start and a time to begin again.

Recently I celebrated the end of a difficult season in my life. The timing of this "new year" for me coincided neatly with one of the Jewish calendar's new year celebrations - Rosh HaShanah.

(I just love it when my life coincides with the Jewish calendar. I don't know why. But you should probably know this about me.)

Rosh HaShanah is the new year that celebrates the birthday of the world. There are many spiritual and liturgical components to this holiday, but the one that I focused on this year is the idea of a new start, a fresh start, a chance to be a new creation and begin again.

You know what I love more than following the Jewish calendar? Following a God who is abundantly generous in granting new beginnings.

Stay tuned for a pictorial representation of how I celebrated Rosh HaShanah.

*Folks, have you decided yet whether you will be a person who says “Twenty-ten” or will you stick with what you know and go with “Two-thousand-and-ten”? Or do you anticipate mixing it up, depending on your mood? Food for thought, no need to decide now. But do give it some consideration: you don’t want to be caught unprepared when two-aught-one-aught rolls around.

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