Forty six years ago, as a completely immature teenager, I ran away from home in Topeka, Kansas for my great adventure. I moved to New York to study flute with my idol, Julius Baker.
During the months before I left home (while I was planning my getaway), I went to a lot of movies filmed in New York. And they all had something in common. There were masses of people all over the place. So imagine my surprise when I emerged from Penn Station to find the streets deserted.
I hailed a cab to go to residence for young women where I'd planned to begin my life in the Big City. And I asked the cabbie where all the people were.
"It's a holiday, honey."
I started thinking, in September? What holiday was he talking about?
So he explained that it was the New Year. But, um, what happened to January 1st? Oh! It was the Jewish New Year - rosh hashanah!
Oh, Toto! We're not in Kansas anymore!
And it was a great adventure that totally changed my life. My parents were horrified, and looking back on the experience, I must have had a very busy guardian angel. I was a baby! And right off the turnip truck! And it was an amazing decade of studying flute, working for an airline and traveling the world, and picking up my degree in bits and pieces. When people ask me where I grew up, I tell them "New York."
Anyway, I've always thought of September as a time of new beginnings. And tonight, as the sun set on rosh hashanah 2009, I realized that I've adopted this particular 2-day holiday as a very special time for this shiksa!