Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Shana Tova

I confess to nodding off during the Erev Rosh Hashanah service last night. But only after I listened to the following poem and remembered how much I love it every time our rabbi Danny reads it.

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry

The first service of the High Holy Days is always a transition, as we settle into the space in the cavernous Methodist church, our home away from home because it can accommodate three times as many people as Temple Micah. These services are the equivalent of Christmas and Easter for Christians, when everyone makes an appearance.

After my last two years as head of the High Holy Days for Temple Micah, last night was almost relaxing. Well maybe just a little too relaxing as I nodded off during the sermon.


Blogger Kristin said...

Shana tova, Barbara.

Maybe you needed the rest.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Adrianne said...

That poem is beautiful -- thanks for posting it.

9:22 AM  
Blogger e said...

L' shana tova, Barbara. The poem is wonderful indeed. Do not worry that you nodded off...Everyone needs a nap now and then and in the beautiful stillness of those words as one relaxes, slipping off to sleep would be easy.

I hope you enjoy today.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Beautiful poem! And it sounds like you NEEDED to nod off...:)

11:14 AM  
Blogger bulletholes said...

Nodded off?
I better say a couple Hail Mary's for you!
Hey, Shana Tova to ya, I had to google it, but I mean it.
I saw your post about Challah Bread the other day. I love Challah Bread, used to see it all the time at the hotel, visually stunning and good fare.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Thanks, everyone, for your holiday wishes. It's a holiday that makes you take stock of your life, a good thing to do once a year!

4:22 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Just to be clear -- my only job this year is singing in the choir. It was the previous 2 years when I was in charge of everything. So I really didn't have any good excuse for nodding off!

4:52 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Oh dear, I hope one does not need a good excuse for nodding off... I do it all the time!

Wendell Berry is a longtime favorite and that particular poem is one of his best. Thanks for sharing.

Shana Tova.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Pauline -- Ahhh...guilt. A perfect segue into tomorrow's post.

8:04 PM  
Blogger e said...

No Guilt Allowed, Barbara, Jewish or otherwise!

L' Shana Tova

9:36 PM  

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