A Year of Reflection and Thought Comes to Action

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Reflection. If ever we needed a year of reflection, I think 2020 would quality as the most extreme example. With lockdowns in so many countries, isolation and social distancing, reflection is something we probably should have mastered by now. And yet. And yet.

November 9th is a day that always causes me to reflect – this year more than any other. I can firmly say that one year ago, had I been told what would happen, I would have never believed it. Who could? On an international, national and personal level, 2020 has been a shock and, well, a revelation. Firmly and without hesitation, I can say that I’m not the same person I was a year ago.

But let’s start with the obvious. Obvious, at least to me. I was born on November 9 – 60 years ago today. No, I don’t feel 60. I’m told that I don’t look 60. Wow, 60 is officially old, isn’t it? And I’m not. My hair, though it has gray strands (quite a few), is still mostly dark. My skin, though it has some wrinkles, still seems young. How is it possible that I am 60 years old.

In the last few years, I have learned to paint. Do 60-year-olds still have so much new inside of them? On the night of November 8-9, 1938, the Nazis tore through the streets of their country and sent a clear message to the Jewish people. Your days are numbered here in Germany, here in Europe, and if we have our way, here on earth.

See the Forest Beyond the Trees

But they didn’t have their way, did they? Though Germany remains, the Nazi regime is long gone. And in the 82 years since that day, the Jewish people have returned home. Mostly. Really. More Jews live in Israel than anywhere else in the world.

Without question, 2020 will be remembered as the year Covid-19 swept the world. Perhaps the debate about whether it was a massive virus or a simple flu will be lost in the subtleties, but the empty streets of major cities on nearly every continent will long be remembered.

I would venture to guess that few beyond the Jewish people will remember that today marks 82 years since Kristallnacht. The night of the broken glass. The night the Nazis rampaged. And most importantly, the moment beyond which any sane person should have known what was to come. On the other hand, who can ever know what is to come?

Somehow, it feels like 60 should come in with a bang, with clarity. By now I should know what I want to be when I grow up, right? On the other hand, by now, I’ve defined the parameters of my life and am able to sit back and watch them grown. I’m a grandmother. Shocking enough to be a mother, but to be a grandmother, that opens whole new worlds of emotions.

Painting, like writing, reaches into my soul and reminds me that there is more to life than work, than politics, than fear, or anger. There is light and love. Commitment and hope. Dreams of yesterday but more importantly of tomorrow. Perhaps that was the greatest damage done back in 1938 – the loss of dreams and of hope for tomorrow.

A Waterfall Moment

Nearly a week after the US elections, there are still battles being fought there. No one thought it would be an easy election, but who could have imagined how close, how confusing it would be? Somehow, I don’t have the energy today for confusion. My life is where I want it to be, and for that I am grateful.

At the tender age of 60, I’m too young to give life’s advice to others and too filled with the moment to think of sagely comments to make. Today, with a world still practicing social distancing, there will be no grand party marking a major milestone in life. I’m so grateful for that. 

Perrhaps the greatest of all gifts God can give a person on their 60th birthday is content

ment. To love the same man for more than 40 years is a gift beyond imagining. To watch your babies turn into people that you can be proud of, every single one of them is a gift beyond words. And to hold your grandchildren close, to see the smiles on their faces when you walk in the room, is a gift beyond measure. Reflection is a priceless gift in itself, and today it is mine.

Maybe I can’t complete this without admitting that this year was a scary one. Unknowns. Undefined. Dark and fathomless at time. But when it gets dark, turn on a light. In the physical sense, we all know this. But too often, we flounder when needing to do the same on other levels.

Crossing the River – Coming Home

So this year, yesterday in fact, I helped turn on a light. It is a light to home, a beacon for those who want to come. If you have a minute, watch the video and you’ll see, you’ll understand. Reflection…it

Reflection to Perfection

‘s been a year of reflection and perhaps now is the time to reflect in a different direction. Today, I am 60 years old. I have the blessing and the honor of living in the place, the only place, I could possibly live. If you feel that way where you are, that is a blessing. But if you’re contemplating moving to Israel, dreaming of it, as I once dreamed. Perhaps, this video will speak to you. Be in touch if I can help.

If you aren’t yet 60 years old (and even if you are), think where you want to be next year or in the next few years. It isn’t easy being blessed with a birthday on November 9th. Today, on my 60th birthday, I bless myself with the life I’ve wanted, the family my husband and I built together, the work and the community I’ve reached into. Yesterday, we launched this project – because for so many, it’s time to retrain, rethink, reflect and act.

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