The tulips are just beginning to bud in my front yard.  There are some other flowers that are poking up, too, and truth be told, I’m not even sure what awaits, but I love seeing their healthy green stems and knowing that soon – something beautiful will emerge. It was many seasons ago that my tulip bulbs were initially planted. Since then, they made roots, nourished themselves, and then rested in winter in order to bloom in spring.  Isn’t that a beautiful idea?!?  To plant, nourish, and rest in order to prepare for blooming…

Jewish wisdom instructs us all to take that time to practice “being” rather than “doing”.  Once a week, on Shabbat, we are instructed to stop producing and working and instead to rest and rejuvenate, even the land is to be given an entire year to rest called a “sh’mita year”.  But resting is hard.  But how can we flourish or blossom if we don’t?

This April, the Soul Center is going to try a bit of a sh’mita experience and so am I.  Don’t worry, we are still going to be offering our tried and true “always programs” so Morning Gratitude, Zentangling, the Spark, Chair Yoga, and our Caregiver Cafe will still be happening throughout the month, but we’re pausing in the creation of new programs this month and for the week of Passover – we will be pausing ALL programs. Our plan is to give ourselves a little bit more breathing space this month so that we’re nourished and ready to bloom again in May.  After a long stretch of life, I too, am going to be taking off some time in April.  A long awaited sabbatical month awaits me and I’m going to try to use April to breathe, to spend time with my kids, to slow down a bit, to exhale, to go for walks and hikes, to maybe even try out some new yoga studios, and to do a bit of exploring, reading and being.  Of course, in the back of my mind, I also have that list that I made at the beginning of the pandemic when I thought we were all going to have two weeks off and I aspired to declutter closets and create photo albums and a whole bunch of other to-do’s.  We’ll see what God has in store for me.  Mostly though, my hope is that, like my tulips – I’ll be able to root, nourish and rest and hope that something beautiful will emerge from the process.  Wishing you all an April filled with green grass, warmer, sunny days, budding ideas and maybe even a trip to Sherwood Gardens!  Maybe I’ll even see you there!

Soulfully Yours,
Rabbi Dana Saroken

4 thoughts on “To plant, nourish, and rest”

  1. Carol Matz says:

    Dear Rabbi Saroken,
    Wishing you a month of enjoyment with your children, to go on those walks and hikes, do your yoga, declutter closets (which I am slowly doing along with filled drawers). God will only have wonderful things in store for you for your month and always. Watch the tulips and other flowers bloom and flourish.

    Carol Matz

  2. Sheryl says:

    Rabbi Saroken, Your words remind to notice the emersion of blooms, warmer weather, longer daylight, and a time to rest and rejuvenate. You, Julie, and The Soul Center certainly deserve this time and so very grateful that you are taking it for all that you do, give, and teach that is a constant of lingering spiritual feelings in the mind body, and soul. XO

  3. Lisa greenberg says:

    Love this!!!! Enjoy your time to simply be!!

  4. Dee Simons says:

    Rabbi Saroken,
    A well deserved peaceful, restful month I wish for you!

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