Entering the Moon of Sivan (May-June)

time of
late-spring in the earth,

teomim, twins, in the sky,
Shavuot in the soul,
time when you are, were or will enter the decade of your thirties.

Time in the seasons, time in life
when the waves of flowering quiets
Proceeding, but much more subtly.
Readying to change season once more.

Miryam at 30 001

Spring nears her end, slowly concluding her stay. 
Shifts are taking place.

And we enter the fifth circle of life,
where young women, now seasoned,
stop by the wayside to regroup,


using learnings gleaned along the way,
to chart their next steps, forward.

Cycle of the Earth, Late-Spring

Come, I will teach you my lessons.
Move into my center, feel the lull in my dance,
for this is a breathing time.


The melody now softens as it turns to its next movement.

leonidrose

Walk beneath the arbor.

Inhale
the roses scent.

Along garden walks
regal irises open their thick buds.

With velvet stripes of purples, golds,
translucent whites,
they preen beneath your gaze.

The peony you've watched gracefully unfurl,
takes center stage.
Massive downy petals of pinks and roses open, fragrance wafting gently by.

Not to be overlooked,
the enchanting scent of mock orange filters through the evening breeze,
snagging your attention as you seek her residence,
to better offer homage.

cherries.jpgWatch those cherries
ripening on the trees more closely now,
so you can harvest some.

For the birds
wildly visit, tithing
more than their share.

  

 

 

Keep your eyes peeled for the first sightings of the baby ducklings
playing round the edges of the reeds.
There they are, swarming round their mother, bobbing up and down like wind-up toys.
An adventurous one or two, meander away, leaping up erratically to catch invisible bugs.
Watch them when they tire
all huddle round in the grasses, a yellow hatbox of fluff.
Nearby the turtles sun on the logs protruding from the water.

Go to your garden.
Tenderly plant your vegetable starts, tomatoes, lettuce, basil, herbs.
All concerns of frost now vanished, you tuck your seeds into the earth.
The soil greeting them welcomingly.

Drive in the country. Watch all the new generations frolicking in the fields.
Colts streaking off into the distance. Calves nestling under their mother's bellies.
Kittens exploring. Pups running in ecstasy. The world reseeding herself.
Beginning anew.

Remember how those first warm days teased us when we were yet closeted in our classroom?
How your eyes wandered to the windows, staring, mesmerized by those blue, blue skies?
Longing for escape?
Remember standing on the warm grass wiggling your freed-from-shoes toes?

In the land of Israel
walking the hills now,
you can see the blue-globed thistles blooming,
beauty encased in thorniness.

The grasses dry in the heat of the sun,
greens turning to golds.

rsalonhollyhocksHollyhocks bloom,
thyme now flowers,

and in the fields,
melons bask and eggplants ripen.

Turtledoves coo at dawn
greeting the new day,

while the fish retreat
to deeper waters.  

Everything has its time.
The slowing down allows another look.
Now there's safety in which to sink roots deeply into soil.

In the Skies, Teomim, Twins

"Born into the same womb we share the world uniquely,
bound with unspoken closeness, oft-thought of as 'special' beings.
We come to guide you in this passage.

One male, one female we embody completeness,
just as day follows night, as holy dances with mundane,
so too female and male differ, yet remain intertwined.
Both are needed, within yourself, within the world.

Rapidly able to adjust to new situations, we're known for our quick wit and liveliness.
Lighting up gatherings, we bring vitality and energy.
Our keen minds and ability to assess a situation hold us in good stead.

Use our strengths for your well-being.

Tend your humor and curiosity,
for these keep life fresh and awe-filled.
Attend to the task til its culmination so as to glean its final lesson.

For fruit ripened
is sweet, bearing seeds within
for new life."

In the Soul, Shavuot,
ascending time


On the moon's sixth day,
a stirring wells within you.

You remember being freed from narrow straits,
wandering in wild places, being cared for there.

leonidwaterfllHidden, but touched,
you felt the One Who roots for you,
aids you move forward,
cares for you.

There you healed, restored,
learned of your new surrounds,
deepening relations
with self,
with Spirit.

With rest,
gratitude now rises.
For the ways you've been sustained,
guided.

You've grown wider, deeper.
You've had time to be in,
listening, taking in, wizening, learning lessons,
growing up in new ways.

Yearning now awakens of Soul.
Desire emerges to ascend.
To build relation in new ways.

You are ready.
To climb the mountain.
To reach new spiritual places.
To walk in fullness.
In partnership.

Cycle of Life, the Fifth Circle, Ages 30-39

Escort and Teacher, Deborah
time of Moving into Strength

Here I appear,
prophetess, judge, wife.

For twenty years my land was ruled by Jabin, King of Canaan,
and his captain of the military, Sisera, who oppressed my people, cruelly.
Sitting beneath my palm tree between Haran and Beth El, in the mountains of Ephraim,
I held court.

Calling Barak, son of AviNoam, I delivered God's command.
To go to Mount Tabor with ten thousand men from Naftali and Zevulun.
For the Holy One would draw Sisera to the brook Kishon, delivering him to Barak's hand.

Barak responded
that he would go but only with my accompaniment.
So I consented, cautioning him,
that Sisera would fall to the hand of a woman.

I dressed for battle.
And rode forth delivering speech.

Indeed, all came to be as I had foreseen. Both Sisera's defeat.
And our people's overthrow of Jabin's reign.
And there was peace, finally, for forty years.


Do you remember your fifth circle of life
when you took stock?
Looking back at what your fantasies of what you thought life was going to be like,
then at what actually took place?

Do you remember constantly feeling pulled in too many directions?
With too many tasks to be done simultaneously?
Knowing, you could not do it all, nor do it all well.
How much you juggled in this phase of your life.

Parts of yourself went on hold. Parts dropped out for a while.
You did the best you could with what you had.

You chose a route, charted a course, made decisions.
About relationships, work, learning, where you lived, where you directed your energies.

You learned
who or what came first, what or whom, second.
What did you give up? for what? for whom? Was it worth it?
What did you plan? What happened? What choices did you make from that juncture?

Some of our learning was bitter, not what we expected or wanted.
Some pieces were sweet, deep pleasure embedded within them.
And we wizened from our follies,
from the events of our lives.

The question of motherhood loomed.
Do you remember wrestling?
With the decision of bearing a child if that had not happened yet in your life?
or with the number of children you had wished to bear?
Or wrestling, trying to bring into life a different type of newness other than a babe?

Some of us tried to birth a child, some sought adoption,
others mourned, releasing that dream, saying goodbye to that option.
And some decided to nourish other seeds entirely.

Like the last cycle, this one too offers a resting place in which to examine our choices,
realign our route, using that learned from the last round of life.
And then, redirecting ourselves, we stepped once more into life's stream,
swimming vigorously.

Less carefree now, with increased responsibilities, life became more complicated.
Some choices changing everything else in our lives.
Where we lived, who was in our circle,
how we spent our time, our daily concerns, where we gained emotional support,
how we saw ourselves, how we supported ourselves economically.

Some of our labors bore new fruits, created new life, filled with new openings.
Some saw us creating the best we could with the resources we had available to us,
using the raw ingredients of ourselves and the lives we'd constructed.

In this cycle we take a breath and sit on a hillside and contemplate,
where it is we've been.
Taking a hard look at what's working, and what's not,
where we succeeded, what's missing,
and what 'success' means for us anyways.

Do you remember surveying your relationships and work? What you wished to create,
mother, bring into this world?
Do you remember looking at what you'd shaped.
And then, at the state
of your mind, body, heart and soul?
Did life cooperate with you? Or did it steer you someplace else entirely?

Our sight becomes more penetrating in this cycle.
Our triumphs and challenges toning muscles of the self,
creating a strength with which we became more and more attuned.

We honed the art of endurance and perseverance,
becoming more aware of our limits, and those of others,
lovers and family, friends and mentors,
those with whom we left feeling drained and those with whom we felt rejuvenated.
We freshly owned the strength called out of us
by the living of our lives.

Your voice becomes clearer.
Your energy becomes sharper, more directed.

L'Koach: Spiritual Task

The task of this decade?
L'Koach "for strength"

Our sages knew we'd need this power in this cycle of our lives.
That it was vital to draw upon this force at this time.

Strength is the capacity for endurance, the power to resist force, to withstand attacks.
Well needed as we play out our part in life, as we sculpt our way in the world.
Facing hardships, blocks, and challenges, gaining strength from where we've been,
we then launch ourselves back
into the fray, once more reinventing our lives.

Continuously this cycle repeats.
Times of action followed by times of reevaluation.
A life-dance as sure a companion to us as our breath.

For in this cycle we need harness our energy.
We're needed in the world now in new ways.

Through years of serving as Judge, I honed my instincts.
Through my passion for resolution and fairness, I learned to navigate complex mazes.

Untying that which was bound, freeing that which was impeded,
bringing justice and completion in to life.

I was ripe with strength.
I knew my own power and how to wield it.

Turn back or forward
and come with me
to this time in your life.

Deborah's Song, Ode to this Cycle

What does it take to move into one's strength you ask?

Melding the fires of life.
To be a warrior and a fool, a sage and a weaver.
A simpleton, a child and a seeker with great fire.
To be able wholeheartedly laugh at yourself,
and to receive with grace
the lessons of your life.
To not take yourself too seriously,
and to use the wisdom you've uncovered.
Wisely.

Gaining strength comes
when you let go of all you know, feel no desire,
but in it's place, a flow of gratitude for what you do have.
Sitting with your hands wide open.

When you've fallen down again and again
and when you've learned the fine art
of rising up again.

When you learn to listen to God speaking to you through your whole body.
When you feel light move within every organ, vein, and muscle,
pure light, God's light, flowing through you.
And that is all.
That, is All.

I've been gifted with images from God,
turned into messenger, a tool.
I've brought peace to those in strife.
Reprimanded great leaders and coaxed reluctant generals.
I've ridden before hundreds of troops, and witnessed terrible battles.
I've lifted voice in song that others have recorded
and passed down through generations.

But true strength?
That comes when you need not be seen and when you need not be honored.
When you can sit and others just walk by you.
When you've no need for recognition.
When you can just sit beneath your tree, find contentment with your lot,
be your own true wild spirit,
following who you must be.

Being still enough to hear your own soul's song,
that you might sing together,
in harmony.

It comes when you are strong enough to face your fears and worries,
and ride through them.
When you own that you don't know all the answers,
that wisdom is a constant surprise.
And that the more you think you possess her,
the more she'll make you out to be the fool.

It comes when you realize your greatest treasures have not come to you from insight,
but from the painful learnings from the mistakes you've made in life.

It comes
when you don't know what next will arrive around the corner,
but you do know
you've the strength enough, the character enough, the determination and will enough,
to meet it.

It comes when you can stand tall as your true self,
sparks in your eyes, kindness on your tongue.

When your speech is clear and vision finely honed.
When all you long for is to be in your life,
keenly alive,
companioned by the One.

That my friend, my sister.
is when you are ready
to use your finely hewn power,

standing tall,
with strength.

Lessons

Remember the vitality and vigor of this woman.
Her force of person and clarity of sight.

As the blooming of late-spring slows,
may you take a breath.

May union of male and female
fill you, their wholeness, infusing you.

May you ascend,
soul ready to meet Your Partner,
receiving the Teachings, adding Illumination to your life.

And may you find strength climbing up your being,
girding your loins, making your steps sure.

That you might walk forward, joyously,
better equipped to carve out the next stretch
of your route.

May this woman's spirit hearten you,
inspire you, invoke your own.

Reclaim those qualities that your soul now needs.


For Further Reflection, Journaling

1) Late Spring, in the Earth

Which images evoke memories of your own?

Deeper Green                              Preparing for Summer             Fragrance, aroma
Shifting taking place                     Determination of plants            Sun
Color                                          Waves of flowering slows         Joy
Safe to plant tender starts             More light in the sky-longer days

2) Teomim, the Twins, in the Skies

What images resonate for you?

Male and Female                           Joined                         Special
Powers                                          Deep knowing             Entwined
Ying-Yang                                     Mythological                Eternal
Intimacy                                         Body and Soul            Powerful
Unity, wholeness                            Knowing                      Alike

3) Omer, Shavuot, Holy Days: In the Soul

What symbols resonate for you this year of your life?


Barley Harvest                                 Pilgrimage                   Gratitude
Bringing forth first fruits                    Spiritual longing           Spiritually Wedding
Receiving Teachings                         Open soul                   Desire for deep connection
Communal gathering

4) Take out a photograph of a young woman in this phase of life, ages 30-39
Yourself, your mother, your grandmother, your daughter, your aunt, a woman whom you know or
a photograph from elsewhere of a woman who appears to be in this stage of life
.

Write down words that describe a woman in this time of life.
The first words that come up for you.
Unedited. Write down the date and your age now

5)Your Personal Map of Life

Creating a personal map of where you've been in life marks your history.
You hold this in your body. In your soul. You carry it around with you every day.
This can show you more vividly where you've been in life.
Inviting you to consciously claim your route. And in time, carry it with grace.
It is yours. And precious.


For those not having traveled yet this cycle
Sit with a woman who's either in or who has passed through this cycle of life.
Ask her to reflect on the questions below: the significant events in the world, in her world, the challenges of this age, the gifts of this age, things she experienced and learned when in this decade of life. To share this with you.

Your Personal History Page, Ages 30-39

Age:  Date: Ages of Parents: Significant events in the world,in life that effected you:
30_____________________________________________________________________
31_____________________________________________________________________
32____________________________________________________________________
33_____________________________________________________________________
34_____________________________________________________________________
35____________________________________________________________________
_
36_____________________________________________________________________
37_____________________________________________________________________
38____________________________________________________________________
39_____________________________________________________________________

Thematics, patterns I notice in this time of life:

Awarenesses, thoughts I want to capture about this time of life:

6) Challenges of 30-39 years of age

What was hard about this time of life? Which words below resonate for you?

Knowing poverty is real                     Marriage falling apart          Marriage changing
Becoming a single parent                   Wilderness time                  Moving-dislocation
Confronting sexism in the workplace  Custody battles                  Serious surgery
Living in my head                               Solitary, little support          Pain
Husband left for another-affair            Little income-Fear              Turmoil-change
Feeling stretched out                          Isolated, lonely                   Changes
Load of economic responsibilities       Juggling marriage, children, work
Mistakes made                                    Feeling cheated                    Payment of choices made-realities
Fantasies that didn't come true-weren't achieved
Juggling career with that of one's spouse 

7) Gifts of 30-39 years of age

What were the gifts of this time of life for you? What words below touch you?

Strong-Determined to cope                Night ritual with my daughter         Fruitful
Being my own person                         Learning my needs, rhythms          Giving
Learning how to survive                      Putting ideals into reality               Connected
Back to school                                   Creating                                       Mothering
Learning to tend myself                       Learning to say 'thank you' and accept gifts
Hard work                                         Head on, eyes open                                               
Self exploration                                  Wiser, deeper                               Knowing
Dealt with problems, acted courageously

8) Qualities to Reclaim

What qualities of this age do you need to reclaim in an updated way for additional aliveness
in your life now?
What qualities do you need to remember as you live your life now?

Things I need remember:


My courage                                     My belief, vision                          My energy
My hope                                          My power                                  My dedication
My strength                                    
My determination to bring things into life the way they could be

9) Tasks of this cycle of life

The task named in Pirkei Avot for the decade of the thirties
30: L'Koach: For strength

a) What did you learn about strength in this decade?

b) In your current life-stage?

c) What strengthens you, aids you be resilient in your life-cycle now?

This is a time when some of us encountered losses-changes.

Abortion. Miscarriage. Stillbirth. A SIDS loss of a baby. Fertility issues.
Choosing not to have a child. Divorce. Cancellation of a wedding. Affairs.
Illness of those in our circles. Death.

Times outside of the 'scripts'  or hopes we may have had for ourselves. Outside of our expectations. Compelling life-shaping junctures.

And how we framed these, how we handled them effects our outlooks
and our lives. Powerfully.

This is also a time where some of us face serious health threats.
Whether we find a lump in our breasts, suffer the pain of endometriosis,
have a bad pap smear, experience our immune system breaking down from stress,
or other health issues.
All kinds of experiences may fly into our lives.
Adding yet another layer to the conversation that is our lives.

Additionally our timing may be different from our peers.
We may be single when our friends are married. A single-parent when everyone around us is parenting as partners. Being newly married when friends have children.
Or newly having children when friend's children are entering into high school.

Or friends may "drop out of sight," become 'lost' in a new relationship, work, life stresses, differing priorities, or crisis.

And for those with a spouse, it's juggling careers, whose is tops, whose next, what gives for whom? what?
Both finding work. Finding work one wishes, or the work that is needed to pay the bills, create savings for the future.
Different values of what's important. Knowing this time is key for building career. The window is now open.

Then there are economic issues of saving for one's future, spending to enjoy, and the tensions-needs between the two.
Costs of everyday basic bottom line living now-housing, transportation, medical needs,
and saving for the future-for a child's higher education-college, marriage, for one's retirement, aging parents, emergencies.
"Doing without"-having pleasures. 

These are powerful, and how we handle these, frame these, effects our outlook and lives profoundly.

What in the above was true for you? Feelings that emerge?

d) In your current life-stage what strengths do you feel you need to claim? to reclaim?

Photographic Credits:

First photograph: will be a portrait
Second and fifth photographs: Leonid Rozenfeld
Third photograph: Scott Carlton's 'Cherry time' found on Picasa Web Album, Common Creative domain. Cherry time
Fourth photograph: Alon Kvashny