Thursday, May 01, 2014

First Fruits

היום אחד ששה עשר יום שהם שני שבועות ושני ימים בעמר
Today is sixteen days, which is two weeks and two days of the omer
גבורה שבתפארת
A day of strength in a week of compassion

Shavuot, the feast of the first fruits may be weeks away--4 weeks and 6 days, to be exact :) -- but yesterday I tasted my first fruits of the season--apricots, nectarines, peaches, and cherries. The nectarines and peaches have the tartness of the early season. The apricots are mostly sweet, with more consistancy coming in the weeks ahead. The cherries--sweet, tart--I don't care. I'm eating cherries again, and that makes me very happy.

One of the things I am grateful for in my Jewish practice is the awareness I have cycles in the day, the week, the month, and the year. Rabbi Lew instilled in me how the different ways knowing where I am in that time and space can bring different sets of mindfulness. Concentrating on the aspects of where I am now while being aware of the context of that present moment is a great focus for reflection. Spring is not winter; day is not night; month beginning has a different feel than month end. But as I teach in meditation--the wonder of concentrating on the present moment is that it contains all the moments that have lead to it; and it is a part of every moment that follows.

Which brings me to the joy of these first fruits. Because I eat seasonally, these are my first mouthfuls of this freshness this year. Waiting all year for these tastes, I have an appreciation for the time and energy it takes for them to reach my farmer's market. And I will take a portion of the bounty and freeze it to give me that hint of flavor through the rest of the year.

But the present moment of ripeness, while carrying both that past work and future reminder, is the peak experience. And these first fruits, like the first breath of meditation, feels--and tastes--so good.

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