It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to jog along the path near my sister’s house in Westford. So much change since the last time, which really wasn’t that long ago, maybe a couple weeks.
Last time I had my precious morning time with HaShem in nature, the leaves were barely beginning to turn into the beautiful fall colors we in New England are so blessed to experience each year. Today not only were more leaves changed but many had actually fallen to the ground. Many more pine needles and pine cones were on the path as well. And yet, a good number of vibrant green leaves on small branches were underfoot too, most likely the result of a recent windstorm.
Season to season, each passes to the next, by quarter, by year, by decade, by millennia. As each generation of life passes on, the seeds of the next are born, the greenery left behind changing into nurturing forest floor with the change of season, some branches dwelling amidst the passing life as new life is welcomed. How brilliant the colors of the leaves, much as inspired insights and wisdom that we gain over our lifetimes that often are the deepest toward the end of our lives.
As these thoughts ran through my mind, “Ani M’Amin” by Neshama Carlebach played in my headset. This song expresses the yearning we feel for the return of our Messiah Yeshua. Though He delays, we wait for Him. And yet with the change of seasons, year after year, decade after decade, generation after generation, how He waits for us to draw closer to Him. What have we learned through millennia, or just in the last year to bring us closer as He waits?
Treading on the many pine cones I was reminded of their purpose, the hard scales divinely designed to protect the tender, vulnerable seeds at the core, the scales keeping the seeds safe from the harsh weather and squirrels who delight in eating them. Season after season, year after year, another chance for the seeds to take root to become a tree to last ages. Just as the pine cones each year, we are given so many chances, each season, each year, to draw closer in our walk with Him, living lives of deeper meaning and truth, deeper love, lives designed to protect and foster the next generation.
As president for a number of years and now president emeritus, for almost 20 years I have stood holding the Torah next to Phil Bromwell our senior cantor as he blessed us with his singing of Kol Nidre. This year as Steve Ballard the cantor from our sister congregation Melech Israel blessed us so beautifully with this special worshipful liturgy, I was reminded that each of us are as the seasons of the leaves. We are born, live, and ultimately leave, hopefully having touched many on our journey. Phil is no longer with us, and yet, Steve was able to so magnificently fill the void left behind, just as each of us will someday be followed by others. As each season comes and goes, what are we doing to grow in Him and nurture those coming along after us?
With intention, prayer, patience, and perseverance, each of us may by the time of our leaving acquire gloriously beautiful, brilliant knowledge, deeper truths, just as the peak of the radiant leaves at this time. We plant our seeds and pray that those who follow us take even deeper root in what we have left behind, prepared to bring themselves and others further along paths of lives of love.
What a beautiful season we are in as we experience these High Holy Days, and holy they are, timed with the beauty of the change of seasons into Autumn as a reminder of our role in that bigger picture. May these days reveal to you the many ways you are here to serve, to love, and to lovingly bring along others in your walk with Him.
Share your radiance. Share His Love.