I have always been intrigued by a minhag I have heard about but never seen. Apparently on Tish B'Av afternoon some people sweep their homes in order to prepare for Mashiach. This Shabbat is Parshat Nachamu (Shabbat of Comfort). The last 3 weeks the Haftorah has offered rebuke for the Jewish people. We switch to the 7 weeks of comfort leading up to Rosh HaShannah. Through the worst of the worst the Jewish people have always picked ourselves up ready to rebuild and start again.
When Peri went back home to Montreal a week and a half ago we thought that would be it until she came to visit us in Israel. On the Jewish Calendar we have 4 intense weeks of Chagim starting with Rosh HaShannah through Yom Kippor and Sukkot. Right at the end Hashem wants just one more day to be with the Jewish People. Shmeni Ezeret is just one more day in spiritual mode. There are no specific rules or rituals to go along with the day. Just one more day.
Peri and I just wanted one more day to be together. It didn't matter where we went or what we did. We just wanted to be together. The most logical meeting point was Kingston around the halfway point between Toronto and Montreal. My parents agreed to come to allow Peri and Channah to see each other and still allowing for us to have alone time for our 'second' date.
It is funny how people measure relationships in number of dates. Rachel and I were friends for about a year before I realized there was more. Peri has been a friend for about as long as I have known Rachel. She has been the person I spoke with multiple times a day since the shiva. We have spent a lot of time talking on Skype and Facetime. Friendships develop and grow if you decide to pay attention or not. While our First date was the Blue Jay game, the three of us went to Marineland the week before. That was the moment Channah transformed back into being just a kid. The weight of the last two years had finally been lifted. We started functioning like a family irrelevant of the titles or official dates.
Peri suggested going to the Thousand Islands because she had always wanted to go there. I suggested we go to Wolfe Island because the Arrogant Worms have a song about the Wolfe Island Ferry. The fact she agreed to that logic demonstrates both how much she loves me and what a great match we are for each other.
Once we met up, we went to get on the Ferry. We missed the first one because there were too many cars in front of us. Instead we parked #5 in line for the next ferry and went for a walk. We stumbled upon a Buskerfest that was taking place that weekend. We eventually went back to the car and took the ferry across.
It was a gorgeous 20 minute 'cruise'. We both love being on the water. I love watching the sail boats. It has been many years since I have gone sailing. It was also cool to see how many wind mills the island has. We went to the corner store, general store and a couple of rooms where crafts and paintings were being sold. We then headed out to the Big Sandy Bay. It is a 1.2 km nature walk from the entrance until you get to the beach. Along the way there are some random plants and trees labelled with what they are called.
We had a nice walk along the beach before heading back. Once again we missed our turn on the fairy settling for a guaranteed spot on the next run. While we waited on a bench nearby we talked about the future and the fears in my life. I have come a long way on this trip in discovering the monsters under the bed not only didn't need to be feared but didn't exist at all. I had conquered the fears and have been able to pick up my pieces and build momentum moving forward. It was then time to go back to the car to catch the ferry.
We ended up in a spot where there was nobody around. The water was calm in the late afternoon sun. The sailboats had all turned in for the day. Nothing but the water, trees and the person I love. I am famous for sucking in the romance department. Somehow I managed to find the perfect moment. As Peri turned around to face me, I asked her to Marry Me. It was the perfect end to a wonderful day.
Peri, Channah and I are a family. I am looking forward to getting married and having our family grow and flourish in Israel.