Monday, August 17, 2009

The Place Where I am Standing (Beginning a Sabbatical)

"Summer's going fast, nights growing colder,
Children growing up, old friends growing older . . ."
-- N. Peart, Time Stand Still

The mornings are dawning cool and spectacular; moments of cloud, and soft sunrise, though the days are hot.

Time for school to start.
The Boychick started last Friday.
He returned to school filled with new purpose--he wants to study guitar in college.

But I realized something. I worked an intense summer job the summer of 2008.
And I worked the writing studio as well as coursework over the fall and the subsequent spring. And with no break at all, I worked an intense summer job that just finished. And it was a difficult year, a year of changes.

Further, this fall many things will happen. I will be in Illinois for two weeks this fall and for Thanksgiving. Then there's the Chem Geek Princess wedding in December.
Small. Just family. At their new home they bought this summer.
But I want to enjoy the planning. And the wedding.
I do not want papers and finals hanging over my head.

On Friday night, as we enjoyed a Shabbat sing with friends, the first full Shabbat and weekend in ten weeks for me, I thought about the Rush song, Time Stand Still.

"Freeze this moment a little bit longer . . ."

Of course I am powerless to do so. But the moment was so present to me and I to it. Relaxing. Singing with friends.

And in my head I heard the words of Jacob at Beth El: "Surely the presence of the Eternal is in this place, and I, I did not know it. This is the House of G-d and the Gate of Heaven."

For Jews, it is time, not space, that is holy. And I want this time. The Boychick will be driving next spring, and he will accelerate his journey out of our lives and into his own. And my firsborn, my baby, soon a wife!

So I decided to start the month of Elul by making arrangements to take a semester off. I need a Sabbatical.

I thought I would have second thoughts, but I do not.

As we walked the dogs the past few evenings, the sky has been perfectly clear. The remnants of the Perseids streak through the Milky Way, arching across the sky at zenith at midnight.

Ah, the beauty of it.

Time will not stand still for me. But I can take the time to stand still in this holy place as the nexxus points of my life, and the generational saeculum whirl and converge around me.

"Experience slips away. . ."

Picture credits: The first two pictures above are mine. The Perseid meteor against the Milky Way is by Mila, from Wikki Commons, shared under the GNU Free Copy License. (My view of our Galaxy these past evenings is more spectacular than any picture, but Mila's is close).


~L~ said...

Ah, RUSH is my favorite band ever. Your whole post spoke to my soul. I love your sabbatical!

Retriever said...

Happy for you (and a little envious!). May it be a time of blessing and rich thinking as well as time to savor the family, and daily life a little less rushed...

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

I heard Rush first when they came out with their first album. Remember albums? I have loved them ever since.