A Shevat Story

I planted seeds, looking forward to watching my annuals, biennials and perennials take hold. With watering and sunlight, the flowers bloomed.  Everything seemed so beautiful back then.  I didn’t realize what the plan was.

While the flowers bloomed, weeds sprouted too. On hands and knees, digging through the dirt searching for their roots, I wanted to sever the relationship but couldn’t find where they came from.  It was so dark and dense there was no light to see. I gave up, hoping they would just disappear or hide forever. I hated those weeds, sometimes they made me cry-I couldn’t sever them, hard as I tried.

After I retired it was time to plant again – in anticipation of new growth.
With great care, on hands and knees I planted new seeds. I added some water, waiting for spring.

Suddenly, or so it appeared, came a voice.
“Hey! Do you hear us?”
Looking around everywhere I had no idea where this noise came from.
Again, “Hey! Can you see us?” Putting my ears to the ground, still nothing to be seen or found.
“Hey! Do you hear us? Can you see us?” There it was: a third and fourth time again. In truth, it was seven times before the soil started to rise, that voice getting louder.

Stomping as hard as I could…trying to flatten it out… without any luck, the soil kept rising up.

“Hey! Do you see us now?” With my eyes wide open, “I hear you; I see you.”
“What do you want from me?” I spoke.

“We’ve been talking to you through the dirt, the rain, the snow, the mud, the sun, for 50 years or more. We’ve been waiting for you.”

With fear and trepidation, I responded:
“I kept trying to cut you out. You kept coming back. Sometimes, more deeply rooted than before.
I thought, by ignoring you and severing your roots, you would go away.”

The weeds laughed…a dry laugh.

“We have been and always will be part of your planting. You can’t get rid of us.
Please accept us–mud, dirt, and roots.”

|Warily, I accepted them.
Again, I asked, “What do you want from me?”

“We can use some attention. Water us daily, look after us.”

“I have always been afraid of you. If I do what you ask, you may run rampant in every direction. You may grow so wild that you can no longer be contained.”

Laughing, “Put a few stakes in the dirt surrounding our roots. Be careful not to damage them. Water us daily. Give us some sunlight. Care for us like you do for your flowers. Then, you will see us and will know how to honor us. No longer will you have to stomp on us. You cannot plant flowers alone. We share the soil together.”

The soil has become level again. When I don’t pay attention to the watering and care,
they will let me know. We have made friends.
011624 TG

About Todd Greenberg

A Jew by birth, a seeker for 60 years. Having realized that all my previous studies and searching brought me back to Judaism as the foundation for my Spiritual practice and my connection to Hashem. Life's love and all that has been challenged in me has been inspirational over the last year to write poetry. Thank you for the opportunity to share what is in my heart and mind.

Check Also

Community Wide Scholars-in-Residence Weekend 2/29 – 3/3

The Boulder JCC, Congregation Bonai Shalom, Congregation Har HaShem, Congregation Nevei Kodesh, University of Colorado Program in Jewish Studies are thrilled to bring Shaul Magid and Basya Schechter to Boulder for a weekend of insight and music!

Beth Ami Readers’ Circle (the No Pressure Book Club)

Join us for our always fascinating Readers Circle book discussion. You only need to go to your computer to participate via ZOOM.