May 2022 – Iyar 5782
With gratitude for warmer weather and the aromas of spring, we enter the new moon of the Hebrew month of Iyar, a time to align our thoughts, feelings, and actions with our hearts and create healing in our lives. The energy of this month invites us to release what does not contribute to our personal or the planet’s health and well-being. What needs healing before we can root ourselves deeply into the fallow earth as it awakens?
During this past year, many of us have pruned away aspects of our lives not essential to our being, which like a tree enables us to channel our energy back into new growth and evolution. As I plan to move from my house in Ann Arbor that has been my soul space, the sacred container of my life for 22 years, I feel the pain of loss as I release favorite books and family photographs, beloved art and musical instruments that have accompanied me to rituals and celebrations.
I’m shedding the objects I no longer need on my life’s journey. It’s not the objects themselves that are important but the imbedded memories and lessons learned from my years of life experience. As Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel writes, “Things of space vanish. Moments of time never pass away.” Underneath the stuff of our lives that can be pruned away lies the vital energy of the shoots that can grow stronger and the recognition of who we are beneath our identifications and how we appear to the outside world.
During this month as buds burst into bloom, we instinctively respond to the powerful life force calling to us, beckoning us out from the dark, interior places where we have resided this winter. Yet we are tender from the many loses we have individually and collectively witnessed and experienced. It’s the energy of compassion, the hallmark of this month of Iyar, that can soften our transition into a greater expansion and allow us to trust our intuition as we sow our seeds, so ripe with potential.
We have the opportunity this month, symbolized by the spiritual practice of counting the Omer, to release old wounds and tap into our deepest longings, freed from many of the restraints of this past year. When we open our hearts to ourselves and others, welcome in and embrace the full range of our emotions, and release judgement, we can water our roots gently with kindness and compassion. As we carefully make our way back into the world with our altered consciousness after two years in isolation, let us be gentle with ourselves and each other, knowing we face the mystery of an unknown future. In this place of vulnerability and mystery, may we open our hearts to each other with expanded possibilities for connection, love, and peace.