DAY 44: SONG OF THE WETLAND
Don't bend down like the willow
trailing her fingertips in the pool.
Cup your hands, gather the waters
that flow around the reeds.
Rejoice in the sedge and bulrush,
the pussywillows and red-winged blackbirds:
small precious things in God's sight.
You don't have to live in exile.
It's all right if you tremble.
You can be both mighty and afraid.
The weeks of waiting are almost done.
Wear patience like a garment, measured.
Carve letters of gratitude
on the clay tablet of your heart.
Today is the 44th day of the Omer, making six weeks and two days of the Omer. Today is the 44th day of our 49-day journey between Pesach and Shavuot, liberation and revelation.
I looked up the gematria of the number 44. (Remember that in Hebrew, letters double as numbers, so every word has a numerical value -- and every number can be correlated with the words whose letters add up to that value.) This poem arose out of this list of the words with a gematria of 44.