Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Earth Etude for 9 Elul

Turn, Revisit, Return

The burbling of the Frog Pond water comes into my ears as rhythmic catharsis. In the midst of searching for a place in which to meet my deadlines, I have found respite in my fondness for urban nature. As I catch sight of the shimmering purple-blue on otherwise brown birds, I have the chance to recreate myself in what I see anew.

So much in this scene speaks to me of what I love. As the evening lengthens, I remember how I would keep sitting with my mother to admire the Triborough Bridge lights elongating their reds, greens, and whites on the dark river ripples. Now I enjoy space on my wooden park bench while having a front row seat for a mix of languages and faces, as well as the rich fur of the squirrel attracted by hazelnut cookies in my bag.

Especially refreshing is the familiar feeling of support from my surroundings—the relationship that I acknowledge, accept, and create with the world that is larger than myself. Here are other beings—human, animal, plant—going about their business of existing. I am free to find myself, gathering the energy to sustain myself and go forward.

As the year progresses yet again to the next season, change and continuity intertwine. There is the opportunity to see a different set of our “first fruits,” to expand our feelings on hearing the sound of the Shofar, to add dimension to our insight as we revisit each Torah portion, to set aside what hinders us so that we may go forward in this year. One may turn with the tide, turn again for a different perspective, return to what one loves. For me, this year the outdoors is calling.

Carol C. Reiman cares for six feral cats outside her home, is involved in her synagogue, and works with library books at a local university.

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