After Orbiting Into A New Year went online two weeks ago, I looked at it and scoffed. I thought, This is a load of crap! No one would want to read this. But after a day or so of feeling worthless, I shared on social media in spite of my self-deprecating thoughts. And when I woke up the next morning, I found that only my mother had “liked” and shared. Oh, great! So my mother is the only one who likes it. How embarrassing! But things lightened up as the day went on, and I saw that my mother welcomed a few grateful readers who I wouldn’t have reached otherwise, and some others seemed to have enjoyed the read as well.
Anyway, all of this is not the point. I feel that part of my criticism of my New Year blog was due to the fact that I had reached the High Holiday season feeling utterly defeated after a laborious summer changing jobs and houses. This has been slash-and-burn farming. Everything I knew gone up in flames, turning over the newly fertilized soil, preparing the ground under my feet for new growth. This is not delicately weeding among the vegetables — this is foundational work that makes you sweat! My anticipated end-point: a brand-new, upgraded zula (English: relaxation spot). Hammock hung between two eucalyptus trees, providing shade and giving off its aroma-therapeutic scent, stones neatly arranged around a fire pit, and all strategically positioned on the edge of a cool, glistening river.
Yeah, right. I wish! By the time I realized Orbiting Into A New Year went online, on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, an inner zula by the river was nowhere in sight. Nothing was left of the fire but dead wood covered in white ash, which the wind had scattered all about. My hammock was dirty and torn. The branches from which it hung were about to snap from their heavy load, and dry leaves covered everything — muddy from the river.
Guess what’s next? Yep. Refurbishing. It’s not enough to do heavy construction using that fiery summer energy. We need autumn. Autumn, associated with the Metal element, has many qualities that resonate with the High Holiday season. If you think about the actual material, it has a coldness, sharpness about it. In the transition from Fire, whose energy radiates outward, and Earth, with its two feet on the ground, to Metal, energy begins to flow inwards, an energetic state which invites self-reflection. It is time to take another look at that zula. What is in excess? What is misplaced or unnecessary? Where has dirt and moss accumulated? Make note of it. Maybe it’s time to reposition the fire pit so it is better protected from strong winds. Maybe the angle of the hammock needs to be changed so you can receive the warmth of the fire when winter comes. Now is the time to do all of that fine-tuning.
In these Metallic times, there is room for transformative growth — like the age-old alchemical practice of turning base metals into gold. To do that in life it is necessary in the present to hold the continual motion between our reflections on the past and a sense of potential for new possibilities — a kind of tension from which our lives’ gold can emerge.
But don’t expect immediate results — potential brews in the deep of winter and just might emerge in the spring only to again reach fruition in the summer and fine-tuned in the fall.
Here’s to another fruitful year.