This was how it should be. Morning services, then breakfast at French Meadow Cafe, and it was so beautiful out that we joined the many customers who were sitting at sidewalk tables. Paula and I both had huevos rancheros, and we sat there for hours talking about our lives. I talked about eras of my past that she’d never known about and which I’d forgotten about. They seem no longer relevant, I suppose, in my current routine life, which, I am realizing, is not drawing enough upon my colorful past and its strengths and who I am and what I love. I talked about studying Spanish, about all the geology I took to fulfill my science requirement without having to either dissect or blow up anything. And I was a nature lover and it was Colorado, so perfect. Two college months tromping around Garden of the Gods, among other places in the foothills.

French Meadow

I didn’t even keep track of the time or look at the clock. But finally we realized we’d been there a long time. The idea popped into my head that we could go to tashlich, which was being held at Lake of the Isles, a short lay-led service. I’d never been, and for anyone who doesn’t know, it’s a Jewish new year custom of tossing breadcrumbs into a body of water to symbolize the casting away of one’s sins. We parked on the east side of the lake and found a park bench to sit on (we were early) while we waited to see when and where people would be gathering.

Finally we saw little clusters of people beginning to assemble on the bridge. We were a small group, maybe 10 at most. With our lay leader, we began the short tashlich service. Then a few more people arrived. “Why don’t we start from the beginning?” So we did. And then a few more trickled in, so we started a third time. We were an assorted crew, none of whom I’d ever seen before, some in shorts. We even had a dog. From the bridge we threw our breadcrumbs, symbolizing as the text said, “the parts of us we don’t like.”

But then came the truly amazing topper-off of the day. I had a few things in my car to return to the Linden Hills library. So after Paula and I  parted, that’s where I headed. One thing that was due, and I had used up all my renewals, was a young adult novel by Gary Snyder called “Okay for Now.” I love this book, and I had just one chapter left.

I was thirsty, so I decided I’d stop by the Dunn Bros. a block from the library and read the final chapter there before turning it in. Then I noticed there were people sitting at the outdoor tables, so I brought my iced tea (which was very refreshing — I needed that!) out there and read. I thought — How often do I just sit outside and read a book like this anymore? It was so pleasant. The weather and temp and the angle of the sun just felt perfect.There’s something about the angle of the sun on autumn afternoons that touches me emotionally. I felt so content, so grateful for the moment. The book ends in a beautiful way, with these two characters who have formed a bond, and one of them is in the hospital for cancer but they both know in their bones somehow that it is going to turn out OK. And sitting there, I felt that same hope — that things may be unsettled, but somehow this is going to be a good year.

Then I went into the library to return my things. They have a book bin you put your returns on it. I noticed the DVD that was on top of the pile of returns, and it’s title was “A Good Year.” Jaw-dropping.