The Moon of Av (July-August) 

Your soul, like the fruit, is growing on the tree of life...
now you 
call on the name of God, HaRoeh, 

One Who guides you through the wild places...

 

leonid-av

 

HaRoeh,You Who watch over me,
  be with me as I walk this Moon of Av. 

Av sits like a queen on her throne, surveying with deep satisfaction
  the lushness of her reign...
    Fields hung with ripening grapes,
      tree boughs weighed with pregnant fruit, skins splitting wide open, juice overflowing,
         birds and animals in rapture.

frank-avSummer heat enfolds the earth,
  blanketing me, the fields, and the walkways.

Enveloping me...
  rocking me quickly to sleep in the mid-day heat.

The fragrance of the sand lily,
  my last memory.

 

 

Av slows me down... 
  I go to the wayside and rest...

At the very same time, 
  in the early days of this moon,
    Av holds deep sorrows.

Sadness wafts up from unknown places within,
  of times and lands from long ago, their reflections lying
     in the core of my body,
     in the center of my spirit,
     in the way I hold my head.

frank2-avShe bids me grieve.

 Wise one that she is, Av knows,
  descent into the wells of mourning
    stirs the hidden remnants
      of the past.

She teaches me to honor
  that which breaks the heart.


She beckons, let the tears rise...
  for they water the garden,
    prepare the ground,
      to receive seed.

Av teaches, this I must do...
  so as to hear more clearly in the next moon,
    the call of the Ram's horn.. 

So as I sit upon the earth, in darkened rooms, heart heavy...
  through the windows comes
    the bleating of new born lambs,
      the perfume of plums and peaches,
        reminding me,
          that life dances all around me... 
            flows sparkling within me...

Av calls me then 
  to rise up and to celebrate
    the life I do bear,
      as does she,
        now...

frank3-avHaRoeh, You Who follow me wherever I wander...
  aid me be in the sweetness of summer...
    saunter with me through these heated days...

As I walk my inner gardens,
  of those who came before me,
    of that which came to be,
      and open, to that which yet
        might come into being.


HaRoeh
, my Guardian,
  come, travel closely.

Steer me through this passage...
  from life... 
    to death and then... 
       to heightened life.

My faithful Shepherd,
 HaRoeh.

 

Photography Credits

First photograph: Leonid Rozenfeld
Second, third, and last photographs: Frank Dobrushken