Letting The Future In
There is always a moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in…
— Graham Greene: The Power and the Glory
As wonderful as my children are, the only time they were perfect was the first time I held them in my arms. It was before they ever woke me up. It was before they ever cried and cried without telling me what was wrong. It was before they ever misbehaved. They were perfect that first moment, never since.
Rosh Hashanah is the parallel moment, when we can reconnect to that moment when we were just perfect, and our parents held us with pure joy, filled with dreams.
My childhood dreams had a magical quality that is usually missing from my current dreams: they were more perfect. There was no doubt or hesitation. Nothing was impossible.
They had another quality that is often absent from my more “mature” dreams; they always had that sense, described by Greene as “letting the future in,” not opening the door so that I could step forward into the future. I was waiting for the future to come to me. These days, I wait for the doors to the future to open for me to step through.
What’s the difference?
It is the difference between Yishmael and Yitzchak: Yishmael is the archer, or hunter, looking beyond what he has to what he imagines, the 72 virgins that speak of a better afterlife. Yitzchak rejoices in every moment as it happens filled with promise and potential. He sees the future as part of what he currently has, not a fantasy that will never be anything more than unfulfilled.
Rosh Hashanah is that perfect childhood moment when we can allow the future to come to us, to empower our present, to energize what we are currently doing. We are not waiting for the coming year to happen. We are creating the coming year in this moment.
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