By Barbralu Cohen
The first dark, cold, snowy morning of 2022 felt as holy as any Rosh Hashanah. And why shouldn’t it? I sat in the dark as the furnace purred around me, and I was warm, sipping my tea—the water flowed nicely right out of the tap. These things–the power that gives me water and warmth, the cup of tea, the big snowfall, the safety–may I never take for granted.
On Thursday we had known the wind was coming—I had gone around the yard and deck with the usual battening—still don’t know what that means. A neighbor knocked on the door and dragged me out for a cold walk—and then, right as predicted (way to go, Weatherpeople!), it kicked in and blew and blew all day, sounding like a freight train, It really did. A power pole snapped in my neighbor’s yard with a huge POP! and a branch fell on it and caught on fire, Nick luckily saw it and ran to put out the flames. No power, but within the hour Xcel showed up and turned it back on. If you ever want to talk about municipalization, please give me a call.
Then a friend, a refugee in our driveway during the Left Hand Canyon fires, whatever millennium that was, texted—what was up with the fires in NoBo? So we started looking at the news and soon enough heard about Superior—Costco?—and then Louisville. I knew my friend lives right on the other side of the highway from that Costco. I texted her—yes, she and her husband and two young teens were evacuating. Then we began calling other Lousiville friends. Did they need a place to come? Most did not pick up their phones. And then we sat glued to the TV, off and on texting our friend, sending love, because what else could we do
She lost her home. And the daughter of a dearly beloved lost her home. And three families in a beloved’s kindergarten lost their homes.
As we sat digesting the news, the power went off again and stayed off for about 30 hours in the below-freezing weather. Then the Xcel guys showed up again, trimming trees and restoring power on frigid New Year’s Eve, and so around 11, we trudged out in the beautiful coldness and deep snow and turned on the well. Thanks, Xcel!! You finally got us to stay up til midnight on New Year’s Eve! No burst pipes for us in 2022!! May it be so. And may our internet return soon, but that’s at the bottom of the prayer list.
Earlier that night, as we lit the candles for Shabbat Ano Nuevo, we prayed for the five families we know–and for all the families–who ran with their lives and lost their homes. We prayed for peace in their hearts, we prayed that we might be able to help them, We prayed for a better, less violent, healthier, saner year in 2022. May it be so.