Sacred Time

Poems for Shvat

A Poem

There is strength in the faith of the unfolding.
The magic of new cell growth, seeds unfurl; angels singing them into being,
and you, you are always sheltering me.

The almond trees are birthing pink flowers in your holy land,
and almonds are always sour, furry and green before we can milk them.

So too, must we remember that birthing takes time.
Blissfulness can be felt in all seasons, but only if you taste delicately the scents of the moment.

These too are willing you into being.

Those plums only fruit when the flower is whole and the sun is warm and the time is deliciously right.

Don’t wait too long to live, but also remember that the seasons are here to remind us that rest and rebirth are necessary for life.

Let the sap rise up in you.
Taste it.
Move with it.
Allow it to fill you as you become more sweet and more alive in the now.

Blessings for Tu’bshvat & the magical trees that hold so much life and power.

Whispers by Ayla Nereo

Below are the lyrics from the first track on Ayla Nereo’s exquisite album Code of The Flowers. Find it on Bandcamp; listen on infinite loop.

Pine, I am calling to you
Aspen, I am singing to you
Redwood, hear this song
Birch-bark, weeping willow
and Dogwood, blooming moonlight
Cedar, let it fall, fall away
Oak, you bore my body
Bay, I bade you open these vessels…

To receive your whispers
tender breath-keepers
givers of life to these lungs
may I open my ears and
surrender
what can you tell me
how can I tend you
how can I tend to the ones
who pour life through these lungs…

Care for these rivers going dry
bone and sorrow held as
pain, drought of feeling, yet the
rain can give us freedom, forest
rain, but if we cut them, it goes
away, help us
open these vessels…

To receive your whispers
tender breath-keepers
givers of life to these lungs
may I open my ears and
surrender
what can you tell me
how can I tend you
how can I tend to the ones
who pour life through these lungs…

“Weep, for every one of us you’ve uprooted
you can soothe it by planting another
of the same as the kind you’ve uprooted
every ending a beginning if you choose it…
you can soothe it…
if you choose it…”

Poem For The Tin-Tun-Teros by Brenda Cárdena

This for the timbaleros, percussionists, tin-tun-teros,
those who tap with spoons on their stoves
with pencils on their desks
with nails and knuckles on tables, beds, their own heads
with fists against walls
and fingers on the spines and curves of their lovers, dancers.

This for the congueros, drummers, bongoseros,
those who never rest
with their staccato heels always hammering the skin of the floor
stomping in their dreams filled with maracas, güiros and claves,
these dancers with steps so smooth
and hips that move like their high hats and snares.

This for the timbaleros, percussionists, tin-tun-teros.
They are bad asses with their cymbal storms
their games of sticks that fly like wings. How scampish
their tricks that won’t let us work or sleep
only dance and sing, sing and dance
and sometimes move the earth a little.

The following poem was submitted by Yael Kiken. She loves to read poetry (and other things), make and listen to music, cook, and play outside. She has worked in a few different countries as a teacher for children and families, and currently works at Mary's Center in DC.

From Blossoms by Li-Young Lee

From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.
From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.
O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.
There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom,
to sweet impossible blossom.

Reflection Questions:

  • Which lines struck you, and why?
  • When or where do you feel most ecstatic and present in nature?
  • Describe your relationship to dance. When do you feel the urge to dance, and why?
  • Think of a time you felt completely unashamed to devour something (literally or metaphorically). What was it? what allowed you to let yourself go?


Poems for Shvat
Kohenet Naomi Azriel
Kohenet Naomi Azriel

Kohenet Naomi Azriel is a lifestyle designer, educator and sacred beauty ceremonialist. She is the owner and creative director of Naomi Azriel Lifestyle Design and is an Ordained Hebrew Priestess through Kohenet. Naomi imbues delight and wonder into her Jewish ritual offerings and strives to create transformational experiences as a way to delve deeper towards the divine within and without. She also promotes awe-filled living by curating sacred objects, interiors and plant-based artistry.

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