Thursday, September 11, 2014

Terroir Today

 Today, 9/11, in New York, on the High Line, with fear in my belly of bombs, planes and buildings colliding with people, I had lunch at a cafe, called, Terroir.

343 FDNY died on 9/11
Terror I know.
Fire Fighter Families

Terroir, on the other hand, I had to look up.

Terroir is the set of special characteristics in the geography, geology and climate of a certain place that interacts with plant genetics and is expressed in products like wine, coffee and chocolate.

I was with Dena, and Tamara, my colleagues, to plan a day of learning for educational leaders. The core idea..appreciation. The lesson would be happening in a place with very special characteristics that changes the flavor of the learning.

We practiced the lesson together.

Walk along the rails overlooking the street along the path lined with flowers and art.
With a partner:

1. Notice--

2. Appreciate

3. Humbly invite in something greater than your self.

Together we paused by the purple flowers and read:

"Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted--a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul."
Rabbi Harold Kushner

And together we recited the blessing said when seeing wonders of nature, including lightning, shooting stars, vast deserts, high mountains, and a sunrise:
We praise you, Eternal our G-d, Sovereign of the universe, Source of Creation.

What did I notice? A breeze. Sunshine. Smiling faces on a day that 13 years ago brought me literally to my knees.

What did I appreciate? Walking with inspiring colleagues and seeing the multitude of flowers and colors. Breathing more slowly.

And when humbly inviting in the Force greater than my self, I experienced quiet and then I went, just briefly, Higher.

Back now, on the last leg of my train ride home. Glad to be coming safely home.

What a difference 13 years makes. What a difference, as Tamara said, a letter makes.