Here is an excerpt from a journal entry I wrote on yom kippur:
I am at Popham Beach, which is my favorite beach in the world. An estuary wends its way through the sand over the years has completely re-jiggered the topography of this beach, so that every year it looks -- and actually is -- different here. I just walked all over for an hour (fasting, hungry, a little weak) -- rediscovering and remembering and newly discovering, and I realized the metaphor can be applied to our very selves. From year to year we look similar, we are made of the same components -- same legs, same breasts, same mouths -- we remain essentially the same from year to year, and yet in other ways we are completely changed and unrecognizable.
I also want to note for you all that I started my Never Done practice at that beach a year ago. As the tide comes in at Popham Beach, the estuary fills in. It's important not to get caught on the wrong side of it. Last year, for the first time ever, after going to that beach for 45 years, I got caught on the wrong side -- with the same young person (and his mom and Josh) who came to shul with me for kol nidre. We had to wade across the cold, swift water, up to our chests, getting completely drenched -- but we crossed safely. And that was the moment I noticed that my Never Done practice was going to include some surprises -- that it wasn't going to be all hot air balloon rides and trips to Berlin.
And so it felt perfect to be back at Popham, and to cross the estuary many times, and at the end of the day, to look back at the year, in dry clothes, from the right side of the estuary.