Meeting the parents

It’s always awkward bringing someone home for the weekend. With Shabbat it doesn’t help that my parents don’t approve of how serious things have gotten. They tolerate her at least, and they do admit that they like her cooking. She’s doing the charming routine. I asked her not to be judgy—and I can tell she’s trying. At least Mom and Dad are talking to her.

Late at night Shabbat sneaks into my childhood room. I blush when she looks at the photos from high school taped to the walls, at the action figures prominently displayed in their original packaging. “Everyone was into them,” I whisper defensively when she starts giggling at my old CDs.

Having her here is awkward, but somehow—when she slides between polyester sheets and hugs her body against mine in the narrow twin bed—she seems to belong, even here.


Reluctant Shabbat

Shabbat was hiding.

Somewhere in the house, I hoped. The windows were all closed, and anyway I hated the idea of him lost in the hard, unfriendly outside. I looked everywhere, pretending that I was just cleaning as I checked under the couch, behind the curtains, in drawers.

No luck. Next I tried to lure him with the smell of pie just out of the oven, fresh bread from the bakery. Nothing.

I lit candles hoping to attract him like a moth. I sang his favorite songs.

Finally, I gave up. I collapsed on the sofa and watched the candles burn until the room went dark.

....And sometime in the middle of the night I woke up with a crick in my neck and the warm, fuzzy feeling of Shabbat curled up warm against my stomach. I shifted to a more comfortable position and fell back asleep.


Stopping by the bookstore on a snowy evening

Stopping by the bookstore on a snowy evening

(Just to browse for a while, because I’m already keeping one of the most important promises I’ve ever made, and I don’t have far to walk before I get to curl up under my comforter and sleep uninterrupted through the cold, still night.)


Pearl diver

The first time she saw Shabbat she stared, long and hard, but stayed at a careful distance.

Later, she poked her toes in. Stepped forward. Went up to her hips, to her neck, learned to float and sluice through Shabbat for hours at a time.

Eventually, she dove in. She may have been surprised at first at how easily she dipped below the surface of Shabbat. The skills she had acquired while she treaded above helped her go deeper, stay longer, explore.

How did she respond to the magical world below? To the colors, to the wholly different varieties of life? To the treasures she found deep below, obscured from the air-dried roads?

She still lives above (most of the time), but if you see her now you can’t miss the ropes of pearls she wears, gathered from the recesses of Shabbat during long years of exploration.