The best way to judge the strength and direction of the wind is to turn your head to and fro until you feel it straight-on. I have always loved that feeling! And yet, sailing into a strong wind head-on will eventually bring you to a standstill; you must lean a bit to the left or right to move yourself forward. The more you turn yourself away from the wind, the further you stray until eventually that same strong wind will turn you completely around and suddenly there you are right back where you started facing the wind and going nowhere fast.
As 5780 nears completion, I find myself wondering how this year has come full circle. This year, which began with such promise, seemed to stall midway and is now staggering towards the finish line. And yet, so much has transpired. COVID-19 has been the headwind that forced a new path forward for everyone. The waters have been unchartered and full of both heavy cloud bursts and clear sky days.
Indeed, these past few months have been trying. I have seen individuals and families prioritize life choices in increasingly difficult circumstances. At the same time, I am cheered to see how our Jewish community has willingly stepped up to support and assist in so many ways.
Nowadays, anyone can make lemonade out of lemons. But before COVID, who could make a wedding without a minyan, siblings or grandparents? Who would have ever imagined Zoom happy hours to be so special?
I have learned to detect the smile behind the mask by looking at your eyes. I have learned that while traveling uncharted waters is scary and fraught with the unknown, it is also both exhilarating and enlightening. I look forward to facing and traveling the winds of 5781 with my newfound navigational skills and strength.
Nancy Weissmann is executive director of Jewish Interest Free Loan of Atlanta.