Sometimes you feel like you’re leaping towards liberation and other times the pace is glacial. But all roads lead to the sea, a metaphor of the last barrier which must be crossed, though the path ahead has vanished.
The story goes that everyone was standing on the edge, unsure and afraid, an angry army getting closer, until one guy jumps in. Only when the water hit his nostrils did the sea part.
That’s how ready and committed you need to be.
They emerge into a place called the Sea of Reeds. Still a sea, but with some purchase underfoot. Things returning to scale instead of a colossal tsunami on either side. And the reality of entering a new world. A new land, where everything’s unknown, both the gifts and the challenges. How nicely prophetic for the turn of the year.
Perhaps you too have made a shift in your life. Maybe not as big as getting out of slavery, but in your world just as important. Hooray if it was conscious. Even if not, think about where you were last year this time. And when you’d like to be next January. Find the vision you’ll need.
Mystical Judaism has the image/idea of klipot. Layers with which our holy spark gets covered and obscured. Think coats of pain that accrue from all your actions of denial and confusion, hesitancy or mistakes. They keep you just disconnected enough from your holiness that it can feel a little out of reach.
Now’s different. The turn of the year seems to peel away a few layers. Like you just had a loofa scrub. A little red and tender. But definitely refreshed and invigorated.
On the other side we’re like newborns. Full of potential, with our freedom, our spark, and our hope.
Take a minute to let the idea of “the other side” sink in. Big or small, you’ve made changes and committed to more. Your holy spark’s a bright ember. How’re you going to keep it glowing brightly?
What do the Israelites do on the other side? They dance and sing.
I’ve been listening to playlists put together by wise and knowing friends. One spins a beautiful refrain: What shall we do, what shall we do, with all this fragile beauty?
That’s the song of now. To decide what to do with your hard-won and fragile beauty. You can sign songs of triumph or songs of new desire. But also sing songs of hope and of commitment. Blow on your holy spark with a sure and encouraging breath. A breath of appreciation for past courage and of trust in your future.
There are moments in life when time slows. When we can get the perspective we need to move forward. That this reading comes at the time of light’s return is no accident. It encourages continuing work on our process. Asks us to look into the eye of God and then back at ourselves. To see and use our inner spark to light the way.
Whether you got here fast or slow, take a good look around. Remember this place of joy and possibility. Carry it with you as you embrace your next challenges.