19 Elul 5775
by Susan Sherman
Thoughts bombard me as I reflect on the coming High Holy Days. Is it that time already? Numerous ideas come to my mind and I wonder what should I write about to share that is meaningful, inspiring and spiritual? Will the reader be interested in what I have to say? I put those questions aside and realize that this is a personal reflection of a spiritual journey.
Over 4 days in July, 20 scrapbook and craft people gathered in Fallbrook, CA for a scrapbook retreat. This is a get together of hobbyist that loves to put together photo scrapbooks, socialize and share stories. I have been putting together scrapbooks since my first son Adam was born who is now 21 years. After all what good are photos of family, friends, pets, vacations, events, if they are put away in a box in the closet?
On this Saturday in July I decided to take a walk and stretch out as I had been sitting for many hours in front of my scrapbooks. I walked around the scenic and hilly neighborhood with acres of open space. The weather was perfect, sky was blue, and the vegetation was green and beautiful. I stopped at the top of a hill and soaked in a peaceful sight and I became overwhelmed with gratitude and love for my family, friends, home, and life. This was a WOW moment.
I sat down at my crafting table and instead of starting to work again on my photo pages; I looked through the photographs. A jolt of appreciation, and love filled my being. Do I feel spiritual? Yes. The visuals of individuals and memories in the photographs remind me of how lucky I am to have met, loved and shared life with these people. This is my connection to G-d;.the discovery of spirituality and emotions through photo memories and having the inspiration to continue to experience these connections of love, adventure, selflessness, friendship and accomplishment.
I can go to my bookshelf and open any one of my 30 plus scrapbook/photo albums to reflect and appreciate the life G-d has allowed me to live and remember to be grateful, humble, helpful and loving. I know sitting in the synagogue over the High Holidays I will not only listen and contemplate the beautiful prayers, I will see the photos from my scrapbooks in my mind of people I remember, a life I appreciate, and begin the year adding new memories to my precious albums.