Today is the last day of the Jewish old year before we roll, at sunset, into the year 5777.
As for this old year, all the beings in my house are tag-team napping. I’m unfurling from a wicked little cold and sinus deal that has laid me out multiple times during the day for wee little naps. Natalie, who flew in early this morning on hardly any sleep, and Ken, who is also sleep-deprived, have napped on and off, and of course, the cats and dog do their part of the nap relay race although it’s the opposite of a race. When we wake, we drink iced tea or coconut fizz water on the porch, talk about the mad rant of the blue jay at the moseying cat, and watch a bright and lovely afternoon pass in real time.
In between it all, I marvel at the ease of the day, not much to do until making dinner, rehearsing a bit more for singing (Natalie) and playing cello (me) with Shiray Shabbat (our little band) tonight at services at the Lawrence Jewish Community Congregation, and eventually donning dressier clothes and driving into town. It’s a beautiful way to transition, sleep and sunshine punctuated by challah, birdsong, a mild breeze, and the smell of a just-mowed lawn, thanks to Ken.
What to do to welcome this changing of the years? Write a poem, so I did:
A bird in the tree is worth more than its weight in song
in the wind that sheds another layer of the old year
so that the new one can pour, moment by moment, into us.
In the last buzz of bees, cicadas, grasshoppers,
everyone naps, dog and humans, snakes in the sunny field,
and Osage orange leaves in the change already started.
I wake and start to hum, the afternoon steady
as the gravel on the driveway, also rolling through time.
This named time turns as the old wishes for worth or proof,
ashes sparked upward from a dying fire, dissolve.
The new yearnings have yet to land in the absence of hunger.
When I try to imagine, I can only hear the yawn of distant cars
on asphalt while a spider works something out of nothing,
and an airplane miles above and insects stories below
ferry the past out of its confines to the next landing.
Something beyond names or wishes, composed of what composes,
sings its gifts: the gift of waking, the gift of sleeping,
the gift of change and chill, the beauty that passes
like a bird from power line to horizon, the possibility right now
as ever for love to join the chorus.