Went for a Shabbat Hike – Climbed Sinai!?!?

Shabbat morning started off as any Shabbat morning with a TBS Shabbat hike – in the parking lot of a local park in Orange County.  I was very excited because we were hiking in Santiago Oaks Regional Park.  It was looking like we were going to explore another hidden gem that many of us never knew existed in Orange County.

Usually, going to a new place, I like to hike it ahead of time, but this week, I lost all track of time and did not have a moment to hike.  But that’s OK, I thought, the other two hikes went off without a hitch, this will be just fine! (she says with sarcasm!)

A nice crowd showed up and I joked, “I can’t get you all in the sanctuary for Shabbat morning but at least I can get you into THIS sanctuary!”

And so it began.  I should have known that this might not go as smoothly when I couldn’t find the trail head and made them walk around the turn-around.  But I reassured them, “I won’t actually make you walk through the desert for 40 days and nights!” (Famous last words!)

Now, on the right trail and walking through the beautiful woods, we see our signs for Santiago Creek Trail! Whew! All is right in the world! Until, no more signs.  Great, here’s a fork in the road! At least there seems to be a nice man sitting on the bench who looks like he knows what’s what. “Excuse me sir, which way to Santiago Creek Trail?” He looks at our group and says, “that way” pointing to our left.  “Thank you!” and we’re on our way.  (Did I just see a puff of smoke as he disappeared from view?)

Off we walk noticing a slight incline in our step.  “Hey Rabbi! Will there be many hills.”

“No, according to my description and maps, this should be a nice walk today.” (more famous last words!)

The hill is getting steeper.  Some decide that this is a great time to show off their well trained legs as they decide it’s time to RUN ahead.  Yes, run up the hill! Have fun girls! Everyone else, please feel free to go at your pace. It’s not a race…this is Shabbat.

We get to the top of the hill and wait…there’s another hill! Really!?!? this was not in the description.  Ah sugar (really, that’s what I say!), I think I turned the wrong way!  Keep smiling Heidi, keep up the face that I really know which way I’m going.  Nuts, I don’t!

Just one more hill and we’re at the top. We’ve make it and are grateful to the Rangers who come up to help one of our hikers down.  But as the Rangers and I are loading her into the truck, I look over to the other hill where the group is making their way down and I notice they are going VERY slow!  I call Marla on her cell and ask, “is everything OK over there?”

“Sure, we’re doing fine.  Just don’t come this way!  It’s really steep and some of us are going down on her tushes! I have to go so I don’t fall.”

Great!  I am so in trouble when I get off this hill and they get their hands on me!

I get a text message that everyone is down, the Ranger is leaving and I’m heading down the hill.  At the bottom are – I kid you not – three deer! Haven’t I heard this story before? Maybe they are there to tell me that everything’s fine or they’re there to mock me some more.

I meet up with the group in the parking lot and I start apologizing profusely.  This is going to be a major al cheit at Yom Kippur.  But everyone really does seem fine.  They all said they had a great time and are glad that our one rescue is OK.  Marla and Juliet offer to go on early morning walks with me to check out new trails so we really know which way to turn.  And I’m on Marilyn’s list – but that’s OK, I’m practically family and everyone in the family is usually on the list at some point.

I never did see that man from the fork in the road again…

A Naming – One Breath at a Time

I officiated at a naming today!  Now that might not sound like something to excited about or even to blog about, but this was a very special naming.  It was for twin boys born last Tuesday, in Atlanta.  It was for twin boys, born last Tuesday, in Atlanta, who are still there because they are only 1 lb 9 oz and 1 lb 5 oz and they are 8 days old today.

Why do a naming for these boys over the phone and while they are still in the hospital?  Because they are 8 days old and they are truly blessings to their parents and family here in California.

Joel and Jeremy are still in critical condition and every day we pray that they will get stronger and their bodies will do what they need to do.  And every day we give thanks to God for caring for them and their parents who are praying with all their might that they will be able to take them home.  Every day we hold our breath as we ask, ‘how are Joel and Jeremy?’

Today, we took a deep breath, recited blessings for thanksgiving and for healing.  Today, we named two beautiful boys and we prayed like we never prayed before that God watch over them and allow them to grow…one breath at a time.

Where is the Pace Car?

Life moves at a very fast pace.  There are meetings to be had. People to see in the hospital. Students to study with. And sermons or articles to write. There are those moments where there seems to be too much on the to-do list and I wonder how I will ever get it all done. This weekend was one of those weekends during which there was something going on almost every minute of all three days.  I knew it would be a challenge to get it all done, but I knew I could if I just kept myself focused.

The weekend has ended and it was awesome! Shabbat was beautiful. Purim was a kick – both for the adults and the children. And we even managed to have dinner with friends.  Now here it is the middle of the week and I feel like I am stalled!

Jennifer im’d me and asked how it was going and I said, I felt like I was in a holding pattern. That’s when she told me of days without a pace car. So true! Today, just feels like a day without a pace car.

There is much to do, but honestly, I can’t get my head wrapped around it. Is this so bad? No not really. Just a little frustrating because when we are racing with the pace car, there is that momentum that we have to keep. But without it, it feels a little sluggish.

Maybe instead of trying to find the pace car right now, I should try to enjoy the more mellow moments.  After all, they are far and few between.

Pace car, come back when you’re fueled up – for now, I’m going to enjoy the meadow.