Coming home from a retreat or a vacation always feels like re-entry -- it takes effort to readjust to the atmospheric pressure of my ordinary life. I keep a running to-do list on the desktop of my computer, and by the time I left town it was chockablock with all of the things I knew would require my attention when I got home again. Predictably, this morning it seemed oddly like the list had grown while I wasn't looking.
I woke before the alarm, so I took my tallit and tefillin and siddur outside to daven shacharit (the morning service) on our deck. Dew, or overnight rain, dimpled the deck and its furniture, so there was nowhere I could sit comfortably. On a hunch, I walked through the grass to the rock at the edge of our hill where the cat likes to sit, and found the rock dry, so that became my prayer spot for the morning.
That corner of our lawn is comprised of wild thyme, which releases its fragrance when we walk across it. The place where I sat was surrounded by high forsythia that allowed glimpses of the valley and the hills through its branches. The cat bounded across the wet grass and joined me on her rock, and then expressed her exasperation that I wouldn't let her play with my tefillin or tzitzit, as usual.
As I wrapped up, I realized that a quick costume change would allow me to make it to yoga. So I went, even though I was antsy to start working. Because my spirit and my body are as important as my to-do list. (Will that ever stop feeling radical?) I need to walk my own talk where self-care is concerned -- maybe especially in these weeks leading up to the Days of Awe, as I work on tying up the emotional and spiritual loose ends of 5767 as well as the practical ones.
The yoga class was hard, and I spent a fair amount of time in child's pose, grateful for the solid ground that helped me catch my breath and gather myself to try again. It felt good, though. And then I picked up an iced coffee, zoomed home, and dove in to the email triage and the kids' machzor project with new energy. It was really good to be away (coastal Maine is really beautiful), and now it's really good to be home again.