I’ve been noticing some interesting post-holiday behavior. My sense of it is there’s a discontentment in the air. For example I was at my favorite restaurant Isabella Café here in Tinley Park last Saturday evening. Two out of three parties asked for a different table after they were seated. One party asked for a third table and considered asking for a fourth, but sensibilities prevailed and they settled in. I assure you these figures are accurate because I was filling in for my good friend Sue and I was doing the seating and re-seating. From my view there was absolutely nothing wrong with any of the tables. Yet here it was – a vague yet palpable sense of things being not quite right.
I noticed it at Macy’s, too. I received fabulous purple crocs from my niece Julie and her family (thank you!) and exchanged them for a larger size. While waiting my turn I could hear several other exchanges – not because things didn’t fit or were the wrong color. I repeatedly heard, “It’s just not right.” And while we’ve all received something sometime that wasn’t quite right for us, this seemed to be an epidemic. Let’s face it one of the great benefits of the economic downturn is that we’re all much more careful with our money. As a result holiday gifts were chosen with great care. And to have so many be “just not right” tells me that something deeper is going on. We have an itch that didn’t get scratched even with all of the richness of the winter holidays.
Then I was reorganizing my desk and came upon this: “All things have a home: the bird has a nest, the fox has a hole, the bee has a hive. A soul without prayer is a soul without a home. . . . Continuity, permanence, intimacy, authenticity, earnestness are its attributes. For the soul, home is where prayer is. . . ” Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
At this point it occurred to me that like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, we may well be looking for our home and not yet having found it we’re unsettled, discontent. And thanks to Rabbi Heschel, it may be that the home we’re searching for is one that is satisfying to the soul. I believe we’ve found “home” for ourselves physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Now it’s time to get about the business of doing the same for our souls. And like any individual journey, each one is unique and so I cannot offer a final resolution to this. I am, however, suggesting that we begin the inquiry into this facet of ourselves called soul.
So at the start of this new year/new decade let’s begin this new quest. And please let me hear from you on how this is going. All together now, “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”
in Love and Service,