It's September, Elul: time to begin
discerning who we want to be. Again
late summer cricketsong returns
to the airwaves, reminding me anew
the season is turning. I steep in hope
that grows stronger like tea. The old year
has come due, the new year
waits in the wings for her scenes to begin.
All I can do is to cultivate hope,
remind myself no one's perfect, again:
doesn't matter if I "make it new,"
only whether I'm trying to return
to the best of who I've been, re-turn
in the right direction this year.
A marriage, ended: okay, this is new.
I admit, it's strange learning how to begin
a new chapter, being a beginner again
after all these years. Dare I hope
for lightness of heart, hope
this stripped-down life helps me return
to the Holy One of Blessing again?
So much has changed since last year
I scarcely know where to begin
when friends blithely ask "what's new?"
But every day the world is made anew.
Psalm 27 invites me to hope
in the One, to trust that if I begin
to try God will help me return.
The Hebrew word we translate as year
is almost the word "change." Again
we bring ourselves (here we are again)
to the cusp of defining ourselves anew.
Harvest the wisdom of the old year
to carry us, coat pockets full of hope,
through the season that's coming. Re/turn
again. Are you ready? Then begin
again, let your heart expand with hope.
Everything can be new. Return
to your truest self as the year begins.
שנה טובה תכתבו ותחתמו
May you be written & sealed for a good year to come!
For those who are so inclined: here are my annual Elul / High Holiday card poems from 2003 until now.