Miriam’s Well will present this special feature weekly during this period of Counting the Omer.
Counting the Omer
by Ya’el Chaikind, MPH, MA, LMHC
The inspiration for my poetry is an ancient Jewish custom called “Counting the Omer,” where each spring you intentionally immerse in the spiritual qualities of lovingkindness, boundaries, harmony, endurance, awe, foundation, and dignity for 49 days. The 50th day corresponds to the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people, also known as a time of revelation.
Traditionally counting the Omer begins on the second night of Passover. Passover is a Jewish holiday that celebrates freedom from slavery. Could it be that we need to free ourselves from old stories, beliefs, or habits that enslave us in order to receive these revelatory teachings? With the freedom of seven weeks to
intentionally interact with these spiritual qualities, what new insights and perspectives would be revealed on the 50th day?
For the past five years, I have explored these questions by writing a poem each day for 49 days, without editing and within thirty minutes. It’s been a creative practice, an annual challenge to my perfectionism, and a mystical, fun, and spiritual exploration. My book, Revelations of the Heart: A 49-Day Journey of Poems and Prompts to Write Your Way to Revelation, is both a writing guide and a poetry book to help others develop their own practice. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
I walked past a tree buzzing
ferociously, laden with hundreds
of green buds, yet did not see
a single bee, and I stared through
a square of branched sky
hoping for a glimpse, puzzled,
because this was a Very
Loud Tree, and while I watched
and waited and wondered,
suddenly my eyes softened
and the tree erupted into focus with the flit
and flight of dozens
of yellowjackets ablaze with their loving
task, and I pondered the other
marvels I might miss when I
am blinded by my goals instead of
yielding to what is
right in front of my eyes.
Omer Day 5:
Hod Shebe Chesed
Awe and Humility within Lovingkindness