Extra Soul


The walk on Shabbat was lovely, I tell him.  Lovely in every way.  Still air. White covered trees. Peace. You see, there is something special that happens when all the walkers show up, knowing we just trekked through snow to get there.  It's a level of commitment, a level of solidarity almost.  We were there. Showing up to shul. Thinking we would be the only ones. Worried about a minyan.  

And then it happens. Lots of people begin to trickle in.  Children.  Adults.  New baby. All of us, together, sharing in this auspicious time.  This ten- or maybe twelve-inch snow day. The one where we walked.  The one in which we were present. The one with cake, and a spirited birchot hamazon. 

After, I stayed. Three others stayed, and we played board games, debated ideas surrounding cultural appropriation, discussed book studies, and the halacha of snow.  This was a lazy afternoon, sipping Happy tea, playing an intense game of Blokus. 

Slowly time moved ahead, and it was time to daven - eat - study - daven - make havdalah.  

It is as if I kissed Shabbat, eyes closed, lost in a moment of pleasure and connection and the energy of it all.


It hurt. When my extra soul left me. It ripped itself away. Left a gaping hole in my body. Until I smelled the besamim. One of the five parts. The part that filled the emptiness. The part that gave me strength. 

By Marlene Burns