Rich Mud; Rosh haShannah 5754

Our tradition teaches that Creation occurred at this time of year. We often have difficulty thinking of the wonders of creation so I offer these thoughts about the beginning.

Everything was moist. Dew dripped from the leaves, as dappled light filtered through the mist. The soft soil smelled of life, but lay dormant, as though waiting. Nothing noted time, so none passed. A slow turning motion gave the effect of a soft breeze, blowing the water-jewels in dances as they flew from the leaves to the loam below.

Damp clay lay on the spinning plate with no recognizable form, a blob of mud. As the plate spun, the mud felt itself... as if hands held it, constrained it, shaped it. The energy from without transferred into its own molecules. Still no specific contours appeared for long. A cylinder arose only to be squashed into a broad bowl. Only one thing was certain. The spinning guaranteed that the external shape always remained round.

The roundness invited entry. The force that shaped the clay watched the outline rise and fall. Its inhibiting energy pressed on the blob and entered the clay's substance. A new rhythm emerged. In addition to the pulsating centrifugal force of the spinning platter, a softer expansion and contraction penetrated the essence of the clay.

Dried globs of clay lay all about in various figures: tall ones with short protuberances, short ones with short protuberances, thin flat ones, thin sharp ones. When had they formed? What did they do? Why bother? None responded. They made no sounds, had no aroma different from the soil, they never moved. So what if the clay could assume all kinds of shapes, it made no difference. Boredom stretched from long before and appeared to continue.... With no choice to make, nothing appeared to mark a difference.

We are of that same clay, yet so different from the tall, short, thin, flat, sharp ones that lay about. We were created to make sounds and assume shapes we form for ourselves. At this time of Creation, may we feel the power of renewal, that energy from without, transferred into the "clay" of our being.

©Mark Hurvitz