The 4 Elements. Then & Now
The 4 Elements. Then & Now.
My soul was yearning
for my guf (body) to be submerged
in the ocean;
the yearning to tovel in a mikvah
(some years after menopause);
I immersed into the deep
and emerged with a renewed appreciation for mikvah
exhilarated and rejuvinated
heart and soul.
I have a little garden
and bird feeder
on my tiny marpeset (balcony);
It gives me nachas ruach (peace of mind)
observing sublime creation
Being a city dweller
has sharpened my senses
to the 4 elements.
Urban living has strengthened my emunah
Initially born as a survival technique
And gradually bolstered to emes (truth)
as each season turned…
I grew up in a insular shetle in New England
(my great-grandfather was one of the original founders)
and spent my childhood summers
on the beaches of Nantasket and Cape Cod;
It was charming and glorious
though I was not cognizant of the beauty
that was encompassing my be-ing;
I was blessed with boundless love
and physical pleasures
an American dream.
My childhood was endowed with
endless hours alone
communing with nature
conversing intimately with the birds
scrutinizing the busy life of ants
building secret garden homes
and exploring Indian relics
in the vast forest in my backyard.
However my soul was in a constant state of yearning
from as far back as I can remember
in this spiritual desert;
encumbered with aloneness
and bewildered by my being different then my classmates
because of my Jewishness;
I was restless amongst the physicality
So began my journey in search of truth and meaning
I traveled the world and
moved to the big Apple.
Seeking and sinking into the metropolis
and becoming anonymous.
HERE my soul was fed
while attending elite college of Art
with intellectualism, culture, paintings, poetry, classical music,
eastern religions, zen, yinyang diversity;
I studied in Vienna
and my art was featured in eastside galleries
until… I had no dreams left to dream.
At that critical moment, B’H
Yakov meets Rachel Leah
My soul was led to its bashert,
my dear soul mate / husband
in the Lower East Side
and finally to Torah
for Shabbos in Crown heights.
We began our lives anew as balei tshuva
A new reality; new friends, new community
We raised our children for three decades B”H
based on a life and love of Torah
in a small corner of NYC
where a keen sensibility
to the 4 elements is being proactively sought and refined;
The ability to appreciate and respond
to the complexity of emotional and
touching each moment
with a constant G-d connection.
Recently, B”H, with the guidance of my newfound mentors and soul sisters,
I have been gracefully immersed
in studying the pnimius of Torah;
A second pivotal elevation and tshuva in my life
A palpable Daas (consciousness) of
Ayn Od Milvado
The ocean is now so much more cleansing
the waves so much more in rhythm with my heartbeat
the sky so much bluer
the clouds so much more energetic
the leaves so much more greener
the wind so much more invigorating on my face
the candle flame so much more enlightening to my soul
the flower so much more exquisite and
witnessed as a kiss from H-Shem.
So I thank H-Shem every morning
with an awakened sense of neshima (breath)
and rebirth of the 4 elements
Modeh Ani Lefanecha Melech Chai Vikayam…
And with this revitalized vision
I immerse daily into the dark subway cacoon
transforming the heaviness of my guf
activating, stimulating Emunah
Shehechezarta bi Nishmasi Bchemla Raba Emunasecha.
and emerge as a light body.
- RW, 12 Av 5779