Elul 27: Living Lighter by Abigail Pogrebin 


I seek light by seeking lightness.  So much of life can be freighted, fretted.  There is a discipline in finding the buoyancy in at least one moment every single day.  I’ve had to learn lightness–how to find meaning, levity, even exuberance–in noticing the simplest seconds. There’s work in that: discovering how the tiniest joys can lift and shimmer:

· A friend on a porch.
· My family of four reading together in the same room.
· Errands with my daughter.
· Central Park on a scooter with my son.
· Wine with my husband on a rare date.
· The entire Sunday Book Review.
· One line of Torah, debated with smart people.
· Yoga to Pandora.
· Rainy days when I’m on deadline.
· Sunny days when I’m not.
· A fast sled, though I look stupid screaming.
· A tennis game, though I talk myself into double–faults.
· My daughter ladling the 6 a.m. breakfast for the homeless at our synagogue.
· My son’s goodnights.
· My brother’s ribbing.
· Watching my parents with my children.
· Watching my children with my twin sister’s children.
· Warm cider donuts without guilt.

The list is treacly but true.  (Admit it: there’s truth in treacle.)  Perhaps it’s not revelatory to learn there’s sweetness in minutiae, but I do think the revelation is in the difficulty: of noticing the smallest pleasures, and discovering they’re enough.

Abigail Pogrebin is the author of Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish. www.abigailpogrebin.com