by Janet Ruth Falon (Elkins Park, PA)
January first doesn’t feel like my new year
even though it’s time for fresh calendars,
and melancholy after-Christmas sales,
and bracing for icy winter, and wishing beyond,
and starting from zero in Blue Cross deductibles,
and whittling-down diets after holiday fressing.
Rosh Hashanah feels like new year
when leaves dress up, then dry up, and fall,
and kids, bored with freedom, go back to school,
and the tans fade away, and the lines disappear,
and we all about-face and shift inward,
towards the refuge of home,
towards the comfort of heart,
towards the warmth of forgiving each other.
Janet Ruth Falon, the author of The Jewish Journaling Book (Jewish Lights, 2004), teaches a variety of writing classes — including journaling and creative expression — at many places, including the University of Pennsylvania. She leads a non-fiction writing group and works with individual students, and is continuing to write Jewish-themed readings for what she hopes will become a book, In the Spirit of the Holidays.