Sorry, didn’t mean to leave you hanging.  No, we didn’t all fit into our dining room, not all at once.  But we borrowed a children’s picnic bench from friends, and set it up in the living room, so all was well.


I’ve been trying to run in the mornings a few times a week.  I need to be out the door for my run by a few minutes after 6 in order to be back, showered, dressed, and ready to go in time to get D to school by 8.  This time of year, that means I’m heading out into the dark, with the sun coming up while I run.  I often linger over my stretches to watch the sun rise over the river.  It makes up for the pain of having to get out of bed so darn early (o’dark hundred, as one of my buddies used to call it).  The past few weeks, the moon has also been visible on most of my runs.  I’ve watched it fade into a sliver as the new moon approached.

As Rachel (the Velveteen Rabbi) noted, by a convergence of the lunar and solar cycles, this weekend was Rosh Hashana, the start of Ramandan, and the fall solstice.  Both the Jewish and the Moslem calendars go by moon cycles, but the Jewish calendar inserts "leap months" in order to keep the holidays roughly aligned with the seasons, so that Passover is always in the spring and Sukkot always in the fall.  The Moslem calendar does not make such adjustments, so Ramadan can land in any season.  And they’ll align with the solstice only when it happens to fall on a new moon.

Andrea, at Beanie Baby, is Wiccan, so she celebrated the solstice, or Mabon.  She wrote recently about her relationship with the annual cycle:

I seem to make this annual journey. Down into the underworld for six months of introspection and quiet and inaction. Up into the real world for six months of activity and learning and noise. Pull inward, push outward, pull inward, push outward, and all the while I feel like things are starting to come together, making sense, like it all fits.

For me, the fall has always felt like a time of new beginnings, of fresh starts.  In part because of Rosh Hashonah, but more because that’s when school starts.  And yes, I’m stuck on that cycle, even though it’s been 10 years since I last attended school on a full-time basis.  (My husband laughed this fall at how excited I was to buy D’s school supplies.)  Summer is for lolling around and living in the moment; fall is for making plans.


That said, I think I am going to take some time to turn inward for a bit. I don’t have a physical retreat to go to like Jo(e)’s, but I’ll do what I can to find some quiet.  I’ll be back after Yom Kippur.

5 Responses to “Phases”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    I hope you find your time off fruitful. I’ll look forward to seeing you back when you’re ready. It feels like a new beginning for me, too, but that’s because it’s spring for me, my favourite time of year.

  2. deidre Aufiero Says:

    I am always energized in the fall as well (although my last thoughts before I logged on this morning were “how do I find some time to exercise? Everyone in the blog world has been writing about their running, biking, hiking…now, you too.). I like the cooler weather, the start of the school year, and my birthday falls in Sept. Thanks for turning me on to Andrea. Somone with similar interests/life phase I’ll enjoy checking in with…

  3. Andrea Says:

    Thanks for the link; and I’ll miss you. I don’t comment often but I read every post.
    I hope you have a restful break.

  4. Jody Says:

    Thanks for the link, I find the wiccan insights into the calendar year inspiring and energizing and reassuring.
    I too hope you have a restful break. These rituals of a religious calendar are a real blessing.

  5. Nan Says:

    Elizabeth – I hope you find the insight, solace, or whatever you might be seeking during this period.
    Hugs to you!

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