I went to Trader Joe's yesterday, which is always a mistake on a Sunday afternoon, but a double mistake when Rosh Hashana is heading in at sundown. I don't know how I'd forgotten about the holiday, since in the morning our Jewish bakery had shelves were piled high with tempting raisin-studded challah, and the counters were covered in boxes of honey cakes. And the public schools are off today and tomorrow. Which I knew. But I forgot.
So there I was, in Trader Joe's, along with several hundred other New Yorkers, with a line that extended back to the entrance to the store. And because this is New York, the store is mostly about three carts wide, which, when you factor in two lines of people waiting to get to the checkout, makes it rather hard to maneuver. It was a game of bumper carts and patience.
But nobody was complaining yesterday, at least out loud. And a surprising number of people were not alone, and not-texting, and not-on-the-phone, but actually talking to whomever they were with. Or even talking to others in line. It was gratifying. Human.
Then I walked up the street to the good produce store, and the sidewalk was filled with people yapping on their cell phones about where they were heading for the holiday dinner, and what they were bringing, and who else would be there.
It made me happy to see people excited and looking forward to doing something together to celebrate the new year. It reminded me of my dear and generous friend Liz, and of All of a Kind Family, and of How Firm a Foundation. And, too, of Kaaterskill Falls, which Magpie sent me this summer, and is delightful reading if you live in my neighborhood (or even if you don't).
So welcome, Days of Awe. A shana tova to all. And may 5773 be a good one.