July 2021 Av 5781
We are entering the new moon of the Hebrew month of Av, a month of heat, scorching sun, and repeated traumatic experiences for the Jewish people throughout history. These tragedies have often occurred on the same day in the Hebrew calendar, honored as the solemn holiday of Tisha B’Av. Both this day of greatest sorrow and the day of greatest joy, Tu B’Av, are contained within this one month, requiring us to find balance within our own being to temper the intense shifts of emotions that challenge our equilibrium.
In this month, we feel the reverberations of the ancient destruction of our sacred Temples, brought about by internal dissension as well as external forces. Today, as in ancient times, hostility, anger, and grievances are again tearing apart the woven fabric of society. The trauma and disruptions caused by the pandemic more clearly display the gaping holes and tangled knots in the tapestry that has superficially knit together the diversity of people in our country. The collapse of the condo in Surfside is a physical metaphor for the deconstruction of our social cohesion. The infrastructure is no longer holding the physical form.
Sometimes, I feel myself moving too rapidly between my homes in Ann Arbor and Northern Michigan, not being in one place long enough to feel centered. I am pulled between my longing to be with my family, grandchildren, and connection to the natural world and my yearning to be with my spiritual community, Women’s Circle, and clients. Am I stretching the fabric of my life too thin? I settle myself by breathing in the lake and unclouded sky, rocky shore and towering evergreens surrounding me, so I feel protected and nurtured as I acknowledge the seismic shifts around and within me.
We create healing and wholeness in the midst of the chaos and dissolution around us this month by cultivating our ability to listen carefully and hear the deeper truth of what is being said. This moment of disorder and unraveling is exactly the time when an evolutionary leap can occur, both on the personal and planetary levels.
If we quiet our minds, withhold judgement, and listen intently, we may be able to hear our inner voice, the rumblings of the earth, and the cries of our sisters and brothers of all colors, religions, genders, and persuasions. With ears wide open, we may hear a new melody riding on the wind and rain. My blessing is that we can be inspired to create a brilliant tapestry of varied hues that better represents the truth of ourselves, our country, and our relationship to the earth and the global community. This is my hope as I listen for my own guidance, quietly sitting each morning with the waves lapping on the shore, knowing that silence can create the sacred space for wisdom to emerge and guide us into a place of greater equanimity and peace.