Saturday, October 1, 2016

Earth Etude for Elul 29: Hope Sprouting

by Rabbi Judy Kummer

When the world is whirling
and despair for the future begins to crowd in
I turn to growing things,
seeking hope. 

The sweet potato plant cutting I made last week,
Bereft of leaves but stuck into a vase to root anyway--
Just in case--
has now sprouted tiny purple and spring-green leaves,
against all odds. 

How did it know to grow, know it could grow?  What
generative force propelled it forward
into a future I sometimes cannot imagine?

In the garden
Swaths of bright blooms
Separate out into  a single glorious flower,
against all odds. 

What force unfurled this flower to look just like its ancestors
But unique and different in its own right?

Peering inside
I see depths
A mandala ready to focus me
If I am willing to stop
Pause and see
Stillness centering
Time paused
The whirling no more
The hope ready to sprout.

Rabbi Judith Kummer is the Executive Director of the Jewish Chaplaincy Council of Massachusetts.  A Boston native, she earned a BA from Barnard College in Environmental Studies and Urban Planning and was ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. Rabbi Kummer is an avid organic gardener, potter, hiker and social activist.

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