In the Ancient Company of Water
Through a number of different experiences, I have stumbled into writing this post now--close to Rosh Hashanah. In this Lilith blog post, Maya Bernstein shares her thoughts on the holiday's tradition of "return" as she contemplates her experiences as a new mother now "returning back"...to work. It is a lovely piece of writing that reminded me that I also made this same return very close to this time last year.
Life shifts this summer have led me on a number of occasions to seek out solace in water. My spirit is perhaps yearning for a Rosh Hashanah ritual called tashlich, a "casting off" of sins in preparation for the new year. But unlike that tradition of prayers beside a body of water, I'm looking to immerse myself in it. Only there can you truly contemplate the waves created by the weight of your body sinking downward; immersed in water is a place where I find renewed intention and the power to create.
For me, it's not about a paradigm of sin that we commit or are born with that needs to be cast off into water (Judiaism, Christianity), it's about cleansing me of those things that are no longer suitable goals or ways of being. Change is constant around me as well as inside me. Water is a tonic for those life moments (or months).
In celebration and in redefinition of tashlich (to honor my dormant Jewish half), I'd like to share some images of this dear and beloved element that has provided a backdrop of joy, nourishment, identity and imagination throughout my life. May you find your solace, purpose and peace in the water.
Navarro River, California
Mendocino Coast Line from a Kayak, California
Lake Temescal, Oakland, California