We call the collection Natural Selections. They’re my favorite poems. They survived years of reading, searching, hoping, and culling. They fit. Survival of the fittest.
The collection begins with an invitation from Robert Frost: “I’m going out to clean the pasture spring; I’ll only stop to rake the leaves away (and wait to watch the water clear, I may.) I sha’nt be gone long. You come too.”
In Spanish the verb to wait is also to hope. December is the darkest month. We stop and wait, hoping to clean the debris from the wellspring of the spirit. We light candles and sing familiar songs so we can nourish the spirit and feel once again a sense of intimacy with the Sacred Source.
I read Frost’s pasture spring as the vital animating force in which mind, body and spirit are skillfully and carefully curled. Soul. The brutal terrorists tried to kill or kidnap it and hold it hostage. The community of support and encouragement we have created in our congregation this fall has provided the inspiration and strength we need in the face of this or any tragedy. It matters. Frost’s poem suggests the invitation: you come, too.
Our canvass team offers an invitation: they have gathered financial pledges for the coming year from the vast majority of our members and friends. There have been some disappointments, to be sure. Some folks have not responded, yet. Please, if you are one of those disappointments, offer your support, appropriate to your resources. Make a pledge that feels good. Do it now.
The great Rabbi Hillel put it well: “If I’m not for myself, who will be? If I’m only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”
Speaking of sharing, let me make a suggestion: if you are in the habit of attending Sunday service at 11 a.m, I encourage you to consider coming at 9 a.m. when there are seats and parking spaces available.
I’ve received a lot of positive feedback about my sabbatical decision–to remain connected. It confirms what I had been thinking. I will be working on the project I had planned–to go through the poems in Natural Selections and write my personal reflections on meanings that have emerged for me.
I also want to remind you that all of the sermons and readings are posted on our web site. Sunday services are also available on tape, which you can borrow or buy.
It’s December. It’s time to light the Hanukkah menorah and the Christmas tree, to listen to the familiar music of the season. We’re feeling some resistance. But we’ve got to go together to clean the pasture spring. We sha’nt be gone long. You come too!