Let’s Leap Into An Early Sundown

They are a puzzle,
these early Shabboses,
chasing us
faster and faster
with each passing week.
Yet they should come
as no surprise.
They were there
on the refrigerator
all along,
on the calendar
that arrived before
Rosh Hashana.
Though so much else
has been lost this year —
our sense of time and space,
our balance and security
and circadian rhythms,
civility and indoor minyanim—
we still changed the clocks.
The geese, too, squawk
in formation,
flying south
right on schedule,
and the yellow leaves still do hang.
Our garden,
which I neglected all summer,
needs tending now.
I must put it to bed
before the frost.
But I digress.
Fall back,
the man says.
And because we remain hopeful, and also grateful
that we have not
– yet –
fallen down on the job
of holding it all together,
we do.
Our microwaves,
and alarms —
anything we can figure out without a manual.
The nights come too early now.
When Shabbos arrives,
I am breathless,
not quite prepared.
I light candles
with flour from challah-baking
still in my hair.
But like a child again,
I rush towards the holiness
with my arms
open wide,
relieved to land gently
in its embrace,
as if into a pile of autumn leaves.

Image: Jonelle Yankovich on Unsplash