Bones longing for a rest,
Breath waiting to exhale,
Shoulders craving to relax,
Belly hungry to unclench.
Five years of waking up anxious,
Guiding myself to count three grateful things
Before I turn to the always “breaking news”
Of another tear in the fabric of all I hold dear.
In January of 2020,
Determined to resume bedtime reading of novels*,
I reclaimed my time.
NO, I said to myself, the ongoing news won’t intrude on a lifetime of
Reading for pleasure before falling asleep.
The news could wait.
January of 2021,
who prayed with their feet as they marched for justice –
We joined hands with others to say NO & YES –
NO – this horror cannot be who we continue to be.
We said YES to voting.
We volunteered, we wrote postcards, we raised money.
We said Yes to decency
Yes to humanity and empathy
Yes to justice.
YES to hope.
The prayer on my lips is this:
May all our bones find rest,
As we collectively exhale,
our shoulders relax,
our bellies unwind.
May we remember what it is to hope,
To dream of a better world,
Where every person has a place to sleep
And enough food to eat.
Let us grow in kindness,
Nourishing the highest in each other,
As we walk this path of hope and new beginnings.
Rabbi Jill Zimmerman
January 18, MLKDay
* Meanwhile my husband watched seven seasons of West Wing – twice.