A good and sweet year to you,
may you be inscribed and sealed for a good year!

Consistently, since I began writing this blog in May of 2020, I’ve based my writing on an idea I received from something, someone, someplace along the way.  But over this summer, I’ve been without of any type of inspiration. Though I’ve made several starts to a new post, it always felt like I was forcing the issue rather than really feeling it. So, weeks went by and there was nothing…nothing at all.  This absence of any enthusiasm to write was disconcerting. What was going on with me? Why this numbness?

But then, as I began sorting through my emails this morning, there was the offering from A Concord Pastor. Each morning this Catholic priest gifts his subscribers with a short motivational post that typically starts our days off on a peaceful note. I’ve been so grateful for these writings!

In today’s offering, in homage to his Jewish friends celebrating the New Year, the Pastor provides a tutorial for understanding this holiday and includes a link to a selection of beautiful Jewish writings and prayers found in another blog. To Bend Light is authored by Alden Solovy, a Jewish liturgist and poet, whose work has been used by people of many faiths throughout the world and who believes that prayer is an act of summoning light, that blessing is an act of bending light, and that communion is the act of entering light. And as I clicked through this now treasured link, I knew I had found that inspiration I’ve been seeking.

Ironically (and thankfully), as I read through the prayer below, I also gradually came to realize why I’ve been feeling so detached and empty. And it has everything to do with what we – as a society, as a community, as a family – have been going through. You know the abundant challenges we have been experiencing so there’s no need to rehash them here, but reading through this particular selection this morning made me realize the power of hope.  Hope opens us to inspiration. Hope invites inspiration. And it was hope that I’d been missing this summer.

But now, renewed, it is my hope that you enjoy this short meditation – just one of the many you can find at To Bend Light.

A New Year Begins by Alden Solovy

Every moment a new year begins.
Something lost.
Something gained.
Every day, a new challenge.
Every hour, a new choice.
Every second, a new chance.

G-d of Old,
In this moment, a baby will be born,
And a child will die.
In this moment, lovers will marry,
And others will split.
In this moment, someone will hear
That their medical treatments succeeded,
And others will be told
To prepare to die.

Every moment a new year begins.
Something lost.
Something gained.
Let me love gently in the morning
And ferociously at night.
Let me dance wildly at dawn
And slowly at dusk.
At midnight, let me sing quietly,
And at midday I will croon, full voice.
I will breathe in a soul of compassion
And breathe out a soul of peace.

Creator of All,
Every moment a new year begins.
The flow of fresh light from heaven
Touches our hearts.
Something lost.
Something gained.
Let it be for blessing.
Let it be for healing.
Let it be for shelter.
Let it be for wisdom and strength.
Let us be, in this moment,
Your messengers of kindness on earth.

How perfect is this prayer! Here we are in the midst of so much discord, hatred, uncertainty, grief, unlike any we have ever before experienced in most of our lifetimes. But here, in these simple words, is a plea for what could be, what should be, what we all hope will be.

These words so clearly deliver the spirit that I somehow lost. I’m so thankful to have come upon them today. And I’m excited to share all I’ve found with you.  So now I leave you feeling much more encouraged and enthused about this new season of hope.

As our summer ends and a new season begins, let us all hope it will bring a modicum of peace, quiet, gentleness, kindness and love. Let us hope this truly is a new and blessed year.