Perhaps one of the most fascinating and helpful unfolding truths in my own life has been seeing the way creation speaks. I see the way the rivers emulate and echo the way of our bodies, our blood’s circulation to our organs, our need for flow and our danger in stagnation—of being stuck. I am impressed with the need for clean waterways to our oceans for our earth’s good as much as I am the need for life-filled, nontoxic, blood to course through our veins to our organs and bodies as a whole.
It has become a foundation of thought for me, a resource of answers to many questions—especially the question of what is my/your body asking of us? Gratefully this is often not confusing at all. We touch a burning hot surface and our body asks us to stop. touching. it. We feel thirst and we are given the opportunity to realize it’s been awhile since we drank water. This is good.
Then there are less clear messages of communication, for instance an ache in our neck or back would be asking of us movement, a stretching of muscles yet somehow many of us have developed a capacity to ignore that signal, haven’t we? That is until we develop some of our first crippling muscle spasms and “suddenly” can’t turn our neck or move our back fluidly.
Our skin is often telling us a story but we’ve never learned how to read it. Our eyes, our gums and teeth, our joints…it goes on and on the way our body is speaking to us, the way our blood has cried out for near suffocation but we found the latest ________ more interesting. Of course we did. Who or when did you ever sit with a teacher leading you to be fascinated with your body and its messages as much as we are with the wonder of mountains and their streams?
We wonder at our exhaustion and inability to engage the world around us with care? towards even those of our own blood? This, please, is not for you to be hard on yourself here, rather a place to choose understanding…how could we care as we ought for another’s when we haven’t yet learned how to care for our own? We’re all learning this.
So. What is your body asking of you today? What is your blood speaking? What if it is inviting us to thrive, not only survive?
The truth of our magnificent human nature to survive is that we often begin our days looking out wondering what will happen to or for us, and yet all the while there is a story, a body, that we live within each day informing us that we have been supported, sustained…inviting, urging, now what will we give back, return? Every morning is an opportunity with our first breath, conscious breath, to give thanks.
Our body is asking something of us today as much is Life, our world, our Creator. What if we listened? What is Life asking of you today?
You are important here.
I have been writing through the biblical month of Iyar on the subject of healing because the Hebrew letters that spell this month’s name can be an acronym for “I am God your Healer” (Exodus 15:26) This is a HUGE topic that I can only be faithful to touch on the slightest elements possible in a format like this. Yet, this too reflects what each of us can only do—be attentive to today.
The holy day of Passover (the first of three major pilgrimage festivals in the Hebrew Scriptures) was remembered last month and it launched a counting of seven weeks from then to the next pilgrim festival of Shavuot (what Christians call Pentecost). Each day there is an opportunity highlighted to pray, “Teach us to count our days, so that we may present before You a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)
Now we have come to the concluding week in the lunisolar month and once more we find out how every ending is a beginning. Iyar ends, Sivan begins. In the first week of Sivan Shavuot will begin as the counting of seven weeks ends. Shavuot is also called the festival of first fruits (Lev.23), it is a time of seeing what has been given, supported, sustained…sown and reaped…and it is time to give thanks…because today we have breath.
We’re not all farmers or gardeners bringing in our first fruit harvest of the year but we all have a body, the ground/soil of our being, that has brought us now five months into a new year…and we are harvesting something. This makes me think it is a good time of reflection, listening, asking…what is our body, yes Life, speaking and asking of us?
When I come to one of my loved ones to say thank you, I turn towards them, often meeting them eye-to-eye if possible. I spend time there. Though it is mine to say thanks, it is not just my conversation, my speech…I stay awhile. I listen.
I’m listening with you today. We’re important here. Humility does not say otherwise, humility teaches us our place. As my teacher Keren Hannah Pryor has taught me over and over, humility is knowing our place, not more or less than. I have to say it again, you are important here. You are delighted in. God is near. Enjoy, and share the gift.
P.S. If you are a part of my daily life you may be tempted to feel as though I am writing directly-indirectly to you. You’re right. But not just one of you. There are several of you with whom I am engaged in the discussion of your body. If it makes you feel better, I am also holding this discussion with myself. I love you each.
P.P.S. Thanks for being here, please share this with someone you love today?
Also, if you’ve been drinking your lemon water or adding more hydration in general to your days I am sending you high fives. Consider as the moon grows darker this next week to let yourself also…get a little extra rest? Sleep allows the body to cleanse our blood, our rivers, as much and more than adding the nutrition of the lemon to our first drink of the day. This too is a way of giving thanks! With you in the journey my friends.
AlsoAlso: my pics, these are just simple but precious scenes to me from my family’s week here together down by the Washougal River and also the larger Columbia River, some of the white washed bright days of Spring as well as the moodier dramatic days that come right next to them. My daughter Selah’s hands are shown after she harvested dandelions, made it into a syrup and then something like a candy. My son Eliezer is home for awhile and tending to our outdoor pathways. My children challenge and amaze me and so does this…