Yesterday’s blog post was my most widely read post since I started this blog. I am quite awed by the reach of the post and by the lovely comments and messages sent to me on the blog, through Facebook and by text and phone calls. I’ve had messages of support and best wishes for this new chapter of my life from around the world.
The past few days have been a blur.
Ten days ago I saw a job advertisement that literally has changed my life. In the intervening ten days I’ve had a whole raft of emotions and experiences that could be described as awe inspiring.
When I rang my older ‘sister’ (who I wrote about the other day) to tell her about the job offer in Peru, her response was ‘That is truly awesome.’ Not only was she pleased for me, but she was awed by the process; how doors had opened for me that I never expected. How things that happened in Peru last year has affected my life now. How things were unfolding at the hands of the Universe.
My older ‘sister’ is Jewish. Tonight she and many of my friends from around the world are celebrating Yom Kippur, the most holiest of the Jewish holidays. Yom Kippur, for those who are not Jewish, is the end of High Holy Days or ‘Days of Awe’ that commenced with Rosh Hashanah. These are days at the beginning of the year where Jewish people meditate on the holidays and ask forgiveness from anyone they have wronged.
I’m not Jewish and am not a Jewish scholar or historian and have no real knowledge of the Jewish faith other than what I’ve learned from my various friends but I love that there is a religion out there where there are Days of Awe.
Days of Awe. What an amazing expression and concept.
I love the idea of meditating and asking forgiveness from those we have wronged. So often we just go through life, never reflecting on how our actions may impact others. To give ourselves a gift of time to do that reflecting and ask for that all so important forgiveness. But as a person who is not Jewish I wonder, shouldn’t we do this all year long?? But I guess ten days is better than none at all or rarely, which is what most of us do.
I also love the more secular meaning of ‘Days of Awe’. According to the dictionary, awe is an emotion comparable to wonder but less joyous. Or a mixed emotion of reverence, respect, dread and wonder inspired by something greater than ourselves.
Each of my last ten days has been a day of awe as some other piece of this puzzle that is my life has been revealed. As I said, I’ve been awed by my friends’ support for this life change. But I’ve also been awed by other things in the same ten day period. Some of them huge. Some of them small. Some of them ‘good’. Some of them ‘bad’.
My one ‘sister’s’ attitude and fortitude as she has received a terrible health diagnosis has awed me like nothing else. As well as the way others of us have surrounded her and her family with love and support. I’ve been awed by the ferocity of the pain that I’ve had this week and ended up in bed for a day and a half this week. I’ve been awed by the generosity of two dear friends yesterday who offered to lend me money, no questions asked. I’ve been awed by the response of my ex-husband who is willing to store all of my stuff for me while I’m in Peru, saving me the cost of a self-storage unit. And I was awed last night as I rang to arrange my first Spanish lesson to have the woman in charge of the Spanish school tell me that she’s from Peru and after I finish my beginners class, she’ll teach me privately the colloquialisms and specific language I’ll need for living in Peru. This morning, one of my regular readers of the blog but someone I haven’t ever met face to face, offered to practice Spanish with me online. That blew me away.
Today I had my first day of work in my new job. A three hour call on Whatsapp with my boss, documents translated and shared through Google Drive and email set up for me by the office manager who happens to sit more than 13,000kms away from me. None of those things would have been possible when I started my career in marketing and communications 30 years ago. I felt awed as I began this new adventure sitting in the comfort of my home in Australia.
Each and every day there are ‘awe-some’ occurrences in our lives. We just don’t always notice them. So maybe we need something like ‘Days of Awe’ in order to pay attention.
What has awed you today? Something someone said or did? A sunset? The fact that you looked into the eyes of someone you loved? Listening to your grandchild’s giggle on the phone? It doesn’t need to be big to warrant awe.
As I wrote that previous sentence, the pair of kookaburras who have decided to nest outside my house started to sing. Their song is distinctive and one that I love. I find it incredible that birds that I only knew about as a child because of a song I sang around the campfire as a Girl Scout, now live outside my front window and will soon be bringing their babies up in front of me. That’s my small bit of awe that I leave you with today.