Friday, August 20, 2021

Earth Etude for Elul 13 - Crater Lake

by Rabbi Shira Shazeer

Many months after the world changed
After worry, adjustment, connections lost and found
Relearning how to live 
How to work
How to family 
How to community

After holding on
Holding together
Holding, holding,

I took to the open road
Family in tow
To see the land and the wonder it holds

To reach out 
and in 
and rediscover
Who am I 
Wherever I am
In this world

I am no Thoreau
Not Diana of the Dunes
Alone with the world 
In quiet contemplation
Rugged self sufficiency
Blissful isolation

I sought the beauty and peace of the world
With a soundtrack of the sounds of children
Filled with wonder, with hunger, with blisters
With games, with worries, with joy
With singing, with arguing, with whistling

And nature teemed with humanity
With so many people
All searching for peace and awe
All in need of relief
Of renewal
Of wonder
All seeking something 
Beyond home, mask, screen

One cool afternoon
From a parking lot, slowly emptying
We crossed the road and descended
Sometimes it is necessary to descend 
Before we can rise. 

From the rim of an ancient volcano
Into the crater
Trees hanging on 
To the steep incline of rock and soil
To the lake
The water clear

Humanity had come here
To love, and nurture 
To feel the power
Of this pristine place

We arrived late
The throngs gone for the day
Or leaving as we came

At the top of a mountain
In the crater of a volcano
In the deepest, clearest, bluest lake

I immersed body 
and soul 

The cold and wet 
Spreading through my tired limbs 
and spiritual hiding places
Soothing the pain and tension
that build up there
when I am too busy to notice

Living Water

The world spins on
And unchanging
I am ready to return

Rabbi Shira Shazeer spent this summer traveling and blogging on Shlepn Nakhes, the Great American Pandemic Road Trip with her husband and three children. She studied in the Scholars Circle at Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, received rabbinic ordination from Hebrew College in 2010, and looks forward to completing an additional masters in Jewish Education, with a focus on special education, in the coming year.  After many years serving as school rabbi of a small Jewish day school, Rabbi Shazeer is looking forward to new professional adventures teaching in the learning center at Gann Academy starting this fall.

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