Hello my traveling companions, tonight’s post is gonna read a little bit like a travel journal, entries of exploration, discovery, and remembrance from me to you & me. If we’re connected on Insta or FB then you’ll have seen the first few entries, though revised (more below) but for those of you who don’t I wanted to share here as well.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021: Snapshots of a little bit of where I’ve been lately…needing to be quiet to understand the days. I’ve been long walk taking, new moon beholding, qigong training… I snapped the last pic (above) as I wrapped up one more video for my teacher certification. These quick moments documenting myself amidst lonely work has become an important help to me—seeing myself better.

Still haven’t earned my certification, but I’m pressing onward!

The lunisolar calendar has become significant for me. I still follow and pay attention to the Gregorian calendar, of course, but the biblical calendar has opened up a meaningful way of marking, seeing, remembering, and looking forward in time. Yet, I’m grateful right now that, it has most become a way for me of learning how to simply be in time.

This month’s new moon (that “sliver of silver”* up in the heavens) signifies the beginning of the biblical year through the new month of Nissan. Exodus 12:2 is where we learn this month is the first of the months, “the head” (rosh in Hebrew), as a way of remembering and memorializing the freedom God had given to the children of Israel. They were just about to be delivered from slavery in Egypt and everything was about to change.

“This month shall be for you the beginning of months.
It shall be the first month of the year for you.” -Exodus 12:2

I’ve been contemplating freedom, what it is (and isn’t) in different people’s lives and what it is in all of our lives. I’m taking a hint from the times we find ourselves within and I am opening my own heart to change. A wise teacher recently told me that time does nothing I do not do with it, so for this new month of Nissan and in this beginning of a new year my intention will be to focus and meditate on freedom as the Torah and creation unfold it to me, one more time around the sun.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2021: S p a c i o u s and beautiful places speak of freedom to the soul—no doubt about it—yet, do space and beauty equal freedom? We get glimpses. Sometimes, we even get to inhabit these wonders for awhile. They train our eyes to see the vastness of reality even within darkness.

One of the places this has been most challenging for me is to see beauty or strength in weakness. To find freedom in seeming failure?? All of my senses say, no. And then, there’s the Messiah dying on a cross—something I have said was at the center of my life.

That takes some time to be fully true. I’m finally understanding it takes some pain too. I’m learning that pain isn’t the bad news. Did you know that even mentioning crucifixion was taboo in polite Roman society? It was scandalous in Jewish society to consider the Messiah would die that way. Our own generation doesn’t highlight it too much either. We’ve learned from many teachers that pain is “bad”.

I’ve learned it by heart, but what does creation say? Yeshua (Jesus) not only endured the cross but told His disciples to join Him. He said to take His “yoke” if we wanted freedom. All of these things remind me of a woman in labor, how she knows pain brings life.

I got to dwell in this space (pictured) a couple of weeks ago but it has stayed with me, especially as I consider having eyes to see the spaciousness around me, as well as within. I’ll never forget the green pasture where I first stood and understood, we. are. vast. Even in darkness…

It changed everything. But that doesn’t mean I don’t need everything changed again.
I’m watching (like a watchwoman waits for morning) with eyes that learned and won’t forget what I saw in the day, as long as I’m given grace to stand, I’m watching for freedom, with you.

Thursday, March 18, 2021: The biblical calendar speaks through the language of creation and that feels fluent to me sometimes, in some ways at least. Yet, still, I’m miles away from the close observation of the rhythms of nature that was so important and meaningful for the agrarian folk and families of ancient Israel. It was the air they breathed, the way they counted time primarily not secondarily. These are ways many of us have to work harder for these days.

Is it worth it? I, of course, could never answer that for anyone else. But I want to share my experiences. I want to tell you how I am learning the Hebrew word for year “shannah,” and how it is closely related to the word for change, “shoneh,”… more than that, I think if we journey together long enough we will see how the years seeking the Presence of God in little tabernacles in time bring joy and healing, how new (“chadash” in Hebrew) wisdom and life unfolds with each month, (“chodesh” in Hebrewby design and for our delight.

I want to tell you how, in the hemisphere I live in, all of creation is currently singing of change as the Spring Equinox steadily approaches and invite you to journey on with me, into this unfurling year and perhaps together we join in the creation song too.

It may not seem like our chief language yet but who else has noticed what Albert Einstein so aptly observed and articulated?

“You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it.
You must learn to see the world anew.” -Albert Einstein

My teacher Keren Hannah brought these words to my attention again recently and in my bones and blood I know these words are true. In many ways, it’s not too much to say, I’ve staked my life on it.

And, at times, that feels scary. Then I remember how the transformation of a wise woman in labor is steadied not slighted by how she knows pain brings life. I remember that looking for new life this Spring doesn’t start with searching for all the pretty flowers; it starts at ground level watching the earth-shaking power of sprouts shoving up through dirt and fertilizer.

Wanna know where new life is coming for you? Look for the pain, the hardship, the “weakness”…even in darkness…

Don’t be afraid. You’re not alone, and…

“Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.” —Abraham Joshua Heschel


P.S. Please share, we need each other.

*”sliver of sliver”: one more head nod to my fave, Rich Mullins. This is from his song, The Color Green

I hope you like it as much as I do. This is juuust about my very favorite song ever.

Here are the lyrics:

“And the moon is a sliver of silver
Like a shaving that fell on the floor of a Carpenter’s shop
And every house must have it’s builder
And I awoke in the house of God
Where the windows are mornings and evenings
Stretched from the sun
Across the sky north to south
And on my way to early meeting
I heard the rocks crying out
I heard the rocks crying out
Be praised for all Your tenderness by these works of Your hands
Suns that rise and rains that fall to bless and bring to life Your land
Look down upon this winter wheat and be glad that You have made
Blue for the sky and the color green that fills these fields with praise
And the wrens have returned and they’re nesting
In the hollow of that oak where his heart once had been
And he lifts up his arms in a blessing for being born again
And the streams are all swollen with winter
Winter unfrozen and free to run away now
And I’m amazed when I remember
Who it was that built this house
And with the rocks I cry out
Be praised for all Your tenderness by these works of Your hands
Suns that rise and rains that fall to bless and bring to life Your land
Look down upon this winter wheat and be glad that You have made
Blue for the sky and the color green
Be praised for all Your tenderness by these works of Your hands
Suns that rise and rains that fall to bless and bring to life Your land
Look down upon this winter wheat and be glad that You have made
Blue for the sky and the color green that fills these fields with praise”