We are planning a little getaway this weekend. ISHi is speaking at another synagogue a few hours drive, so we’ll go there for Shabbat and stay on for a few more days nearby. It’s been an intense couple of months since we’ve been back from our big trip down under. The holidays are enough stress (in all the ways stress is good and sometimes not so good, if you’re not careful about how you handle it) without the extras of the last couple of weeks living in New England.
So going away is good.
But as we made the plans of the place to stay and the people to see, we both, without saying it, realized that we are already away.
We live in a beautiful town. No one else is here in the house. We can choose whether or not to answer the phone,
We can choose our outfits and our shoes at last minute
and change them afterwards, if we choose. And we don’t have to worry about luggage limits or security or lines or worrying about how much to tip the bellhop, the chambermaid, the waiter.
And we don’t have to worry about what to eat or where to eat or what to bring. And we can change our minds about that, too.
We can walk 15 minutes from our doorstep to this.
And when we go away, we’re still hounded by the media.
Many years ago, when we were in Israel up north at the Banias waterfall, ISHI’s phone went off. The roar of the waterfall made it hard to hear, but the call was quite clear. A congregant had died and we couldn’t do anything about it. Well, he could arrange for someone else to officiate at the funeral, but he felt awful.
That wasn’t the last time we were away when someone died. It happens.
That can’t be what holds you back from going away, the what-if.
But really, why go away?
Because you go away from yourself.
Your patterns, your habits, your same ol’ same ol’.
You take a different perspective.
Shabbat should do that. And it does, to a point. But not so much for a working stiff like ISHI.
So we will be grateful we can leave a beautiful place to go to somewhere differently beautiful
and be a bit refreshed.
But if you’ll excuse me, I have to finish packing. Now where are my brown heels and where are my hiking boots?