Where Have All The Birds Gone?
We are in Between Time in the month of Elul, just eleven days to Rosh Hashanah. Between summer and fall. Between the vanishing year 5782 and the world reborn as 5783. Between lots of rocks and hard places and gathering as a Jewish community to hear the wail of the shofar and taste the sweetness of round challah, apples and honey.
A poem for Elul:
Someone asked me
Where have all the birds gone?
Is it the smoke of fires far enough away
Or warming all too close?
No. It is Elul.
Those on their way uphill are long gone,
And those who gathered here for immortality are done.
The migrants headed south of the border, down Mexico way.
And for morning minyan just a few starlings,
Some California woodpeckers, a titmouse or two, and me.
As I accept the yoke each Elul morning I am all too aware
That too soon today I shall cast it off.
That every day my father and my mother shall abandon me,
But I shall be gathered in.
If I just make my turn.
There is no escape of an Elul morning, uphill or down, and no immortality.
Soon, Elul will turn to Tishrei.
And I, founded on the wise and the ones who know,
I will open my mouth, in prayer and supplication.
But first I must make my turn
With blessings for a happy, peaceful and healthy week,