The Moon of Shvat (January-February)


Come, sit in winter's belly...
rock in her primal seas...
For in this time of cold and low light, your soul needs special care.

So you call on the name of God, 
One Who watches out for you.


walk with me this moon of Shvat...
when the world around me sleeps...
when blue of night, white of frost reign...
when creatures lie, curled round in their lairs
deep in dream.

You beckon me
to hear the silent coursing of life flowing through winter's veins...

How in the howling gales, the silence of the snow,
are songs You sing...
in this time where some life dies, some rests, some stirs within,
waiting to be born.



You teach me to have courage when all seems a frozen wasteland...
To stand in the face of trials, firmly planted.

To hearken to my soul's voice, You, echoing
as surely, as clearly, as powerfully within me,     
as the music of the winter winds.



HaShomer, my Guardian,
help me be like the almond tree.

Who in the pitch of cold, in the seeming endlessness of winter,
imperceptibly moves deeply within herself,
appearing to be between worlds, bearing no signs of life,
yet inside, hidden,
   her sap does flow, her life force breathes,
   and she thrusts forth,
      despite icy rains, sleet, and snow,
      which pour over her, saturate her boughs,

Let me hold her messages,
she, first to bloom in the Land.
opening her light pink petals,
shimmering translucently in the winter rains,
   promise, sign,
   that life will return,
   even when all appears barren and lifeless.
Her Hebrew name chants...
   "remember dear one...
    your Source is near...
    Watching out 
    for the well-being of your soul."



watch over me this moon

Help me move
   from darkness to light,
   from empty branch to blossom,
   from silence to song,
   from sleep to awakening,
   from seeming emptiness to abundance,
   from solitude to Your embrace.

Bless me as I stand, HaShomer.
Root me
in this world.


Photography Credits

First photograph: Alon Kvashny
Second photograph: Kathy Berendt
Third photograph: Vicki Hollander