I have been a beginner many times. As have we all…first day of school, first moments leaving home and fooling ourselves into believing we are already adults, first love, first days of parenthood, first day of a new job, and moving…to a new city or neighborhood or country or continent…

And there is always this feeling of freefalling, of just not knowing anything and feeling dependent icky and wishing you just already (again, that dangerous word already) knew how to mail a letter or where the Israeli version of Kinkos was or how even to begin looking for an apartment or what your circle of friends will look like.

And there can be a tension between that desire for the already (which is usually a combination of expectations collected from dreams, anecdotes, and sometimes Hollywood) and the right now.  The right now that most spiritual paths explain as the only reality. And not only is the right now the only reality; it is also always new.  

And in the newness of every single moment there is an opportunity. For what they call in Zen, beginner’s mind. It is that childlike wonder we get when fascinated with something new, when the lemon tree on the balcony of my Airbnb fascinates me because, when have I ever been this close to a lemon tree? Who knew the leaves were so big and wide and the stems thick and thorny? It is the joy I experienced yesterday while landing at Ben Gurion, when the Israeli three-year-old behind me was belting at the top of his lungs the Shawn Mendes Camila Cabello song, Senorita, in a mixture of English, Hebrew and maybe…Spanish? (But I speak enough Spanish to know that he wasn’t speaking Spanish; maybe it was his idea of what he thought Spanish sounded like.) And there he was, laughing, singing, as I was gripping my seat because it was a rocky rough turbulence-filled landing. (I don’t like those.) But his laughter distracted me. He was in the moment and loving the sound of his voice, and his mother laughed and sang with him. You go Mom!

Being new anywhere for anything is just a reminder that we are always beginning again. Nothing is a fait accomplish. Nothing. And, I think of this in particular because we arrived in Israel just days before the holiest days, when we celebrate the sweetness of a new year on Rosh Hashanah, and we repent and reflect on Yom Kippur.

My cup runneth over (with amazing Israeli coffee…best way to start the day!), as I sit in my new home (ok, temporary Airbnb but permanent city) reflecting and writing and listening to the sweetness of the birds…

Published by Musings

Certified Life Coach Certified Nutritionist Certified Yoga Instructor Certified Naturopath

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