Spiritual Sunday: Rosh Hashanah
Looking ahead to Rosh Hashanah, which begins Wednesday, here’s a lovely Marge Piercy poem. I’m not sure why she calls it “The Seven of Pentacles” other than that the pentangle is a special symbol in the Kaballah. A google search on the meaning of the Seven of Pentacles Tarot card says that it stands for “love in right relations” and could be a caution to spend our time wisely and to work well so that we will have no regrets. The man in the picture seems to doubt whether he has done so. If we are observant and intentional, however, we will reap a rich harvest.
In the poem, we see that tending our garden means honoring all the life that participates in the growth. It is therefore a good poem/prayer for the upcoming High Holy Days, when observers reflect upon how they have been living their lives and spending their time.
The Seven Of Pentacles
By Marge Piercy
Under a sky the color of pea soup
she is looking at her work growing away there
actively, thickly like grapevines or pole beans
If you tend them properly, if you mulch, if you water,
if you provide birds that eat insects a home and winter food,
if the sun shines and you pick off caterpillars,
if the praying mantis comes and the ladybugs and the bees,
then the plants flourish, but at their own internal clock.
Connections are made slowly, sometimes they grow underground.
You cannot tell always by looking what is happening.
More than half the tree is spread out in the soil under your feet.
Penetrate quietly as the earthworm that blows no trumpet.
Fight persistently as the creeper that brings down the tree.
Spread like the squash plant that overruns the garden.
Gnaw in the dark and use the sun to make sugar.
Weave real connections, create real nodes, build real houses.
Live a life you can endure: Make love that is loving.
Keep tangling and interweaving and taking more in,
a thicket and bramble wilderness to the outside but to us
interconnected with rabbit runs and burrows and lairs.
Live as if you liked yourself, and it may happen:
reach out, keep reaching out, keep bringing in.
This is how we are going to live for a long time: not always,
for every gardener knows that after the digging, after the planting,
after the long season of tending and growth, the harvest comes.