One word

I am participating in Reverb 10 – a blogging challenge to reflect on the (secular) year that is ending and to look ahead at what comes next. Each day there is a writing prompt for reflection. Today’s prompt: Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?  (Author: Gwen Bell)

For 2010 – my word is: Transition.

The word reflects both my personal and professional life. This year, my family celebrated my mother-in-law’s 100th birthday and my sister’s 50th, my father and uncle turned 80, my stepfather turned 83 and marked the occasion with a second bar mitzvah, and my eldest niece turned 18. And we had another major simcha as well – my stepdaughter got married!

We lost a beloved cousin at 56 and a dear uncle at 80.

My work life the past few months has felt a bit like living in a revolving door, with staff members coming and going and coming and going and coming and going. Every time things felt settled, they changed. I work with a wonderful group of committed, caring people. I just wish the door would stop spinning for a while.

And, of course, working in hospice means working with transitions every day. I spend a lot of time at the intersection of life and death – a liminal space, a threshold, a transition.

For 2011 – the word I’m thinking about is notice.

This week, in the Spiritual Direction group I participate in, one of our discussions reminded me of Moses at the burning bush. For me the essence of this story comes from the question: how long did Moses have to pay attention to the bush – to really notice it – in order to realize that it was burning, but was not being consumed?

The ability to notice, to focus, and ultimately, to be present in the moment is one I try to cultivate. I thought about other words – blessing, presence, miracle, mindful, prayerful – but, for me, all of these words grow out of awareness, of noticing, of paying attention.


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About wallcough

Trying to find beauty and joy in the world around me . I am many things, among them a quilter, a knitter, and an incessant reader. There is not enough time for them all, so I jump in between them as the mood hits me. Professionally - a rabbi; a hospice chaplain.
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