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Posts Tagged ‘sunrise’

Tornado Sunrise 17January2016

Sunrise with hint of looming tornado Photo Courtesy of Iris Koller

Each day I awake
to the rhythm of my heartbeat.
to the intensity of my soul.
to my breath.

Each day I
feel the holiness of the world.
thank G!D for the beauty that surrounds me.
pray for the strength to move through the storms of life.

Each day I
believe in human kindness.
trust in my beloved village.
hope that life’s nightmares will go away.

Each day I
watch the waves of life crash against the waters’ edge.
sensing that that there is more I can do to make the world a better place.
and yes, doubting that I have what it takes.

And yet
giving up is not an option.
managing the turbulence that often guides me is my work.
striving to NEVER GIVE UP.

Hineni, Here I am. . .
navigating passion that resonates deeply.
dreaming that calm settles the turbulent rush of the water.
believing that the rippling of pebbles makes the world a holier and more beautiful place.

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“From a certain point onward
there
is no longer any turning back.
That is the point that must be reached.”
Franz Kafka

This has been the year of trials and tribulations.  In so many ways 5775 has been a nightmare and in many more ways it has been the year that I will always remember for the many and very real blessings.

Sunrise ove the Boise River which flows through Treasure Valley Courtesy of Dianne Hoff

Sunrise ove the Boise River which flows through Treasure Valley
Courtesy of Dianne Hoff

Sunrise always came, despite the floods that seemed to leave me profoundly dark and sometimes fearing for how I would navigate life.

This was the year that I said to good-bye to so many chapters of my life. My marriage formally ended, I nearly lost my profession, and hope was nothing more than a dream. Loneliness became my friend, becoming destitute was nearly a reality, and I was forced to say good-bye to some of the most beloved souls within my life.

5775 was a nightmare, it was a dark tunnel.  AND within the dark tunnel, I found some of the most amazing sparks of light.

Financial Challenges

My position as a Jewish educator ended abruptly, leaving me void of income and the finances to move forward. Yet doors opened up and my family never starved.

Whenever I feared that I would be destitute, jobs came out of nowhere.  Jobs emerged because my friends found positions for me. When my career went half-time and then ended, care-giving allowed me to care for people that were sometimes at the end of their lives, but always challenged by life circumstances. Physical pain was part of their every move; emotional challenges were inevitable. My kindness, my gentleness, and my strength allowed some beautiful souls to live with as much dignity as possible; I made a difference.

And when care-giving couldn’t sustain me any longer, so many friends afforded me the possibility to survive and ultimately thrive. While I feared survival, I never really had to a reason to worry. Everything I needed to survive was available to my family. A friend gave me a home to live in for six months, beloved friends and family gave us what we needed to move and survive until I could start working, at every turn positions allowed our family to have exactly what we needed.  And just as I was getting ready to sustain myself on hourly wages, and another friend nudged me to apply for the position that lead me to be exactly where I am supposed to be at this time. As tears run down my face, I can’t believe how fortunate I am to be in Houston with an amazing community including co-workers that fill my life with joy.

I love forever. 

And this year couldn’t protect me from the pain of loss. I did have to say good-bye or let go of what could no longer be part of my life.

After years of separation, my marriage formally ended. For now, I can share that when I married nearly 26 years ago, I didn’t believe that my marriage could end in any way other than death. It did end and while I have had years to get used to what that ending meant, it is still profoundly sad.

When I was forced to say good-bye to our beloved Shachar, my sweet puppy. I was comforted by the belief that my family gave her enormous love in the year that we had her. Her abused spirit ended too early, but for one year she was treated with the love that was part of our every interaction, even the ending of her life. And as I was struggling for our family’s loss and some very physical pain, Jennifer and David showed up. They didn’t hesitate to come to Aryeh and I who were buckets of tears and pain. They just held us metaphorically and helped us move forward.

Finally, I had to let go of my best friend, a person who I thought would be in my life forever. For reasons that are somewhat beyond my grasp. . .there are no tomorrows. Sometimes all you can say is good-bye. I only wish I had the grace to say good-bye without sharing the deep loss that was a part of me; my heart quite literally shattered as my entire being yearned to understand.  This was the year I was forced to simply let go; I was given no choice.

With each and every step, I was never alone; I was surrounded by love. My friends always showed up in some very profound ways.

This has also been the year when I faced my inability to be present for those I love. I can send love letters, I can pray and send healing energy.  But I have so many friends who are facing very real physical pain.  Their pain is deep and all I want to do is wrap my arms around them and I can’t and I may never again.  The reality that sometimes there are no tomorrows cuts like a knife. While my life has been full in all the right ways, today I don’t have the means to be more present.  And there are people that I love as deeply as I love my family, they are my family of choice. Realizing that I can not be there breaks my heart.

As I get older, I have learned that life ends, accidents happen, physical pain hurts. . .with and without warning.  When my dear friend Helen died a few years ago, I was crushed that I couldn’t be there for her family, but I couldn’t.  At the same time, I have learned the most valuable lesson possible. I have learned to love completely and to treasure what is.  Even when you lose a beloved friend or lover, what you had lives on.  That love is what made you what you are.

The World
And the world, can we talk about Israel, Black Lives Matter, Our Nation, Refugees, Climate Change. . . .the list goes on and on; my mind never shuts off.  The world is struggling and I am struggling with her. Beauty comes as I stand with so many other individuals that care. I am not alone. Regardless of what language we give to each of the issues, I am surrounded by passionate people who care and want to make a difference for good.

While I can never do enough; I am doing what I can and that has to be enough for this moment.

Finally
Moving forward means acknowledging the pain, but willingly deciding that life is worthy of swimming upstream.  Thriving is not optional. The world is precious and full of so many beautiful souls. While tomorrow is not a given, this moment is here. So to quote my ‘virtual’ friend Jeff Keni Pulver, “Live, Life, Now!”

Every morning the sun rises. Life may sometimes have painful moments, but I know that I am always surrounded by light.

5776 – Hineini, Here I am!

Onward with love,
Chava

PS – To each and every one of my friends that have been there for me – thank you! I wouldn’t be where I am without you.

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Catalina Mountains remind me to keep climbing. :)

Catalina Mountains remind me to keep climbing. 🙂

Regardless of how life is
I find the light and focus on the good.
Light is full of shades from bright to darkness.

When the world is crumbling
Crumbling pieces are like remnants of cake.
Each morsel tasted and the sweetness digested

Breathing in light
Breathing out the darkness
Eventually after enough breaths, finding balance with each inhalation.

Thank God for new days
Bad days really do end
And new days emerge with beauty.

At the moment, I am keeping perspective while navigating the darkness that has been plaguing my life for way too long. Thankfully there are flowers that bloom constantly in the desert, a moon that illuminates even the darkest skies, and sunrises that revitalize the mountains while warming my heart and soul.

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Today’s Omer Reflections is done in memory of Francesca Lakas, a loving friend and an amazing human being who found beauty in life. May her memory be a blessing for good.

Note: I will be Counting the Omer for a total of 49 days, from Passover to Shavuot or from Slavery to Freedom.  For many, this is simply the Counting the Omer; for me, it is a time to actively reflect on different middot (character traits) that will lead me to my own rebirth. Middah (character trait) focus: sense of beauty

Sunset near Pupukea Hawaii; Photo coutesy of  Kathleen Kendle

Sunset North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii; Photo coutesy of Kathleen Kendle

A sense of beauty surrounds me at every turn.  The biggest gift I give myself is when I take the time to seek the beauty or to take notice of my surroundings.  Beauty can be found in the mountains, at the beach, in the desert, within a beautiful sunrise or sunset.  It can also be found in loving moments, in sweet interactions, in music, or in dance.  Beauty can be found in life and even in death.

May each of us be blessed to find the beauty wherever we go and in whatever we do.

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Morning has always been a gift to me, but over the last decade or more, I sometimes find myself waking up with a deep and momentary sadness.  The good news is that it rarely lasts for long.    Almost as soon as the sun comes up, my spirit improves.  My guess is that it goes back to the years of navigating serious illness within my family; waking up in darkness meant that you were truly alone in this world with only your fears as a visitor.

As someone who often wakes up about an hour or more before the sun rises, this is my struggle; this is my challenge.

Today there is good news, now I have Maddie (my dog); she seems to know her place in my world.  On my darkest mornings, she knows exactly what to do.  She lays across my lap or my feet and she reminds me that I am loved.  She creates a cocoon sensation that allows me to ease into the light that I so adore.

Summer2013AcrossLegs

Once the sun rises, she knows her role as a hungry dog; she tells me that it is is time to put melancholy mood to rest; it’s chow time followed by a walk.

May we all be blessed to have a special creature or two in our lives.

 

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Tonight, we counted Day 17 of the Omer, which is 2 weeks and 3 days of the counting of the Omer.  Tonight’s counting is referred to as Tiferet she-b’Tiferet.  There are so many ways to reflect on this particular Sefirat haOmer, counting of the Omeer.  Tiferet means many things and each of those things can be perceived in multiple ways.  The primary definitions or interpretations include beauty, harmony and balance.  With each definition, I imagine both the physical, spiritual, and kinetic characteristics.  Funny how challenging it is to come up with a meaning of a simple little phrase.

  • Beauty within beauty
  • Finding beauty with in balance
  • Harmony within balance
  • Creating balance through harmony
  • Balance within beauty (creates) harmony
  • and more. . . . .

For me, balance comes when we look deeply in ourselves and in others so that we may ultimately be part of creating harmony.  Balance is about taking firm steps, conscious steps to create the intense beauty that can only align when we fully engage in life.  Balance comes from movement.

Sunrise in Topsail, NC courtesy of Wendy Delson

Sunrise in Topsail, NC: Balance, Beauty, or Harmony?
courtesy of Wendy Delson

Have you ever noticed how beautiful a sunrise at the ocean can be?  Breathtaking.  True harmony comes  together with each sunrise and with each tide.  To stand by the water and feel the universe’s breath as the wind blows the cool air, the sand, and the spray of the ocean. Harmony come when balance meets beauty.

Tiferet she-b’Tiferet – May beauty surround you wherever you are.  May you find balance in life’s gentle movements.  Notice the harmony that exists as you walk in the world.

Breathing deeply!

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