Saturday, April 07, 2007

Counting the Omer Day 4

Today is Netzach she b'Chesed - a day of endurance in a week of loving kindness.

On the plane ride coming back from New York last week I sat next to a young woman who, it seems, was taking a trip similar to one I took 20 some odd years ago. We didn't talk about it, we never spoke at all, but through things I heard and observed, she taking a chance, flying cross country to follow her heart.

Before we took off from JFK, she made two phone calls. One seemed to be to a girlfriend to get some last minute support for what she called "her adventure." I was in that conversation that I got some of the details--she was visiting someone she connected with in New York but who was now in San Francisco. In New York, they were together in her world. In San Francisco, she was going to have to fit in his. The second call was to her guy in San Francisco, arranging her pick up at SFO. In the second call, I could feel her nervousness and her excitement.

The flight itself was uneventful. We didn't speak at all--each of us read, ate the snacks we brought on board, listened to our iPods. Towards the end of the flight, she took out a journal and began to write. I glanced over and read these words, "Am I motivated by love, or am I motivated by the fear of being unloved." That was when I knew I was on the right track. I wished I could share my experience with her, tell her that whatever the motivation, she'll know if it's right. But, of course, I couldn't. I just silently sent her my best wishes for the days ahead.

When counting the omer with the sephirot, the concept of Netzach--of endurance, determination, ambition, drive--is one that seems to me to be out of place in the spiritual realm. But today I thought of that young woman, and the young woman that I was those 20 some odd years ago. We both took a leap of faith. My worked out for the best, and I hope the same for her.

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