We started with a Hudson River song sang by Jen, who accompanied herself by her guitar. It’s a folk song written by a Randolph school teacher. Both the melody and Jen’s voice are beautiful, so I reveled in the music. Then, I got to choose the songs. We sang “Ivru, Ivru,” a chant about crossing bridges, appropriate to sing in a ceremony about crossing the bridge from sacred to profane, from the Sabbath to the weekend; and “Vaasuli,” which speaks, as I mentioned earlier, of sacredness and protection.
Then, we did the Havdalah ceremony, which I love. Debbie Friedman put music to the blessings, and despite being a secular Jew, I enjoy singing them. My favorite part is the lighting of the candle, which marks the beginning of the ceremony. And we ended with the last chant, which was also my choice: “Soba,” a psalm about filling yourself with joy.
When the song came to its end, it was time to say our good-byes – Jen had to walk the dogs, and Ellen had to talk with her kids. So, we agreed on a next meeting to sing in person when the weather was warm, maybe in the early afternoon on my deck.
I shut the computer with a sense of quiet and happiness. There’s nothing that can heal as singing can, especially singing together. Hearing other voices that join our own in chanting beautiful melodies, especially if those voices are lovely, lifts our hearts and appeases our minds. It’s the best recipe to cure the doldrums.