And then there are moments like this: when the heart opens to the Holy and fills with awe, wonder and love. Like now.
I sit here in the most mundane of places, at a table outside of the local sandwich shop Jersey Mike’s, having just consumed a Caesar Wrap (damn you, slightly rising cholesterol) and a caffeinated diet coke. Yet my heart has opened to the Holy One.
First came awe. I noticed that above the constant stream of highway traffic, there arose a range of hills, greened by the record-breaking rains that assaulted our environs. Patches of yellow wildflowers peaked out among the smattering of trees and outcroppings of rock. Where did this come from, this oasis of serenity amidst the cacophony of cars? A light blue sky rests overhead, enjoying the softest of cloud cover like confectionary sugar sprinkled on French Toast.
Is this a new sign from the One without End, saying that awe-inspiring creations surround us always? Or were the wonder-filled creations just hidden away until my heart opened up, ready to see that which was revealed?
It feels it is love. I text my wife, “Sitting at Jersey Mike’s, eating a wrap, reading and looking at the green hills. Was filled with awe of life and overflowing love for you. Thought I would tell you.” She texts back, “Wow. Thank u. Love u 2. Very much. Anything “new”? I do not respond because my love for her and my love for life so overwhelm that nothing can distract.
I notice the inspiring journal I was reading, a CCAR Journal symposium on finding our path after ordination. Had the words of Dr. Carol Ochs, on Fostering a Relationship between Rabbi and God, moved me so? Or was it just a key, turning the locket that had enclosed my heart? And does it really matter?
Time clicks away; cars rush by. But appointments beckon. I begin to rise.
Off in the distance those hills – so lush, colorful, peaceful – wink at me as if to say, “This is our place. An oasis of holiness. It’s always here. Just outside, beyond the freeway, as seen from a table, at Jersey Mike’s.”