Oh my gosh, this seasonal living thing is no joke. Now that I’m aware of— or maybe just now connected to?— the annual cycle of nature, I see so many parallels with it and my physical/emotional state. It’s entirely possible that it’s mostly in my head, but this is what has been going on with me lately:
I lost a beloved, elderly family member and have been grieving, with moments of beauty and sorrow all twisting and twirling around each other.
I have been trying to focus on healing the areas in my body that have been weakened by close, consecutive childbearing without proper nourishment and exercise.
I suddenly feel like everything I do is futile, inadequate, or uninspired. I have no idea what I should be doing or where I’m headed. Everything feels like too much and I’m in a fog.
I’ve felt disconnected from or unwanted by the women in my religious community.
In my mind’s eye, I’m an autumn storm. Clouds part for a moment of sunlight before darkness rolls in and an icy wind blows. Sometimes there’s no sign of rain and it hails, other times it looks like it should be pouring but never does. This is me.
Why now? - I ask this of Hashem. Why take my grandfather now, when his memorial is in a tyrannical state and travel is treacherous?
Will anything I do ever matter? Ever be good? Ever be enough?
Will I ever be appreciated by those in my community?
Where is my community?
Where am I going?
Who am I?
Let me tell you a story.
A woman and her child were traveling in the wilderness with no real destination. Eventually they became hungry, thirsty, and the mother was certain they would both die. They cried and called out to God. Finally, after some amount of time, God revealed a well to the woman and they were saved. In praise, the woman called Hashem, “El Ro’i,” meaning “God Who Sees Me”.
I wonder, if the story happened that the woman and child were traveling in the wilderness and stopped at this well because they saw it immediately, if she ever would have considered God. Would she have believed that Hashem was watching over her at all?
“El Ro’i” is one of my favorite names for God. It’s in times like these— the stormy uncertainties that it stands out to me. I am here, I am crying, I am turned upside down and feel battered by the wind. Even so, here too is El Ro’i.