The Circular Road
This is a poem about calendars, about noticing things as we travel on that road, which is road of life.
Counting the Omer is one way that we have to gaze out the window while we are on our voyage. The Omer allows us to be mindful of time, of connections and helps with the find art of noticing. By counting the Omer and connecting Pesach and Shavuot, Freedom and Law, we give honor to days and to nights which helps to bring us meaning as we take this collective voyage.
The Circular Road
The calendar is our highway.
We follow it.
We have no choice;
it’s the one and only route
It’s a circular road,
broad and wide
to allow its many travelers to ride.
We keep traveling in circles
Days flow into nights,
night melt into days.
Darkness and light,
darkness and light.
There are no exits on this road.
We embark onto journeys when we are born
and exit only at our end of our road.
We are powerless to make changes.
Can we switch January and July?
Can we reverse spring and fall?
The sun and the moon are the guideposts.
They light the way.
Yellows and whites and grays.
Along the route there are markers
Failures and successes,
Happiness and sadness,
blues and reds and yellows
They mark our way
And the circular route
*** ** *** **
On this highway that keeps going
we find ways
to mark events,
to give honor to days,
to deepen our journey
so as we travel this road
of our sweet lives.
We discover views that we can focus on
as we gaze out the window
and become apart of the view.
Yes, we can change our journey.
There is power in our hands,
in our words,
in our thoughts
and in our intentions.
May your voyage be imbued with understanding,
with days and nights that count.
Give meaning to days and nights
It is you that hold the powers
of observation and appreciation
moments of pause,
while you travel on this circular road.
*** ** *** **
THE BLESSINGS FOR COUNTING THE OMER
הִנְנִי מוּכָן וּמְזוּמָן לְקַיֵים מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁל סְפִירַת הָעֽוֹמֶר, כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב בַתּוֹרָה: וּסְפַרְתֶּ֤ם לָכֶם֙ מִמָּחֳרַ֣ת הַשַּׁבָּ֔ת מִיּוֹם֙ הֲבִ֣יאֲכֶ֔ם אֶת־עֹ֖מֶר הַתְּנוּפָ֑ה שֶׁ֥בַע שַׁבָּת֖וֹת תְּמִימֹ֥ת תִּהְיֶֽינָה׃ עַ֣ד מִֽמָּחֳרַ֤ת הַשַּׁבָּת֙ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔ת תִּסְפְּר֖וּ חֲמִשִּׁ֣ים יֹ֑ום (ויקרא כג:טו-טז חלק)
Behold, I am prepared and ready to perform the mitsvah of counting the Omer, as is written in your Torah: You are to count from the end of the rest day. From the day you brought the waived Omer-offering, they [the counting] shall be seven complete weeks. Until the end of the seventh week you shall count fifty days…
וִיהִ֤י׀ נֹ֤עַם אֲדֹנָ֥י אֱלֹהֵ֗ינוּ עָ֫לֵ֥ינוּ וּמַעֲשֵׂ֣ה יָ֭דֵינוּ כּוֹנְנָ֥ה עָלֵ֑ינוּ וּֽמַעֲשֵׂ֥ה יָ֝דֵ֗ינוּ כּוֹנְנֵֽהוּ׃ (תהילים צ:יז)
May the pleasantness of ADONAI our elo’ah, be upon us, may our handiwork be established for us — our handiwork, may it be established.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֺתָיו וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל סְפִירַת הָעֹֽמֶר׃
Blessed are you, YHVH our elo’ah, cosmic majesty, who sanctified us with Their mitsvot and commanded us to count the Omer.
The blessing for the Omer is taken from The Open Siddur.