Earth Etude for Elul 1 – On the Search for Teshuvah at Walden Pond

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen

Today is the first day of the month of Elul. We are on the countdown to Rosh HaShanah, one month away.

Welcome to the first of this year’s Earth Etudes for Elul, a project of Ma’yan Tikvah – A Wellspring of Hope, a daily feast of reflections to help us in the process of teshuvah, of re-turning to the Holy One, re-turning toward our best innermost self.


The journey toward self-discovery,


and self actualization

is one of constantly looking through the trees

for the deep well of water

from which we take refreshment,


and courage.


The way forward is not clear,

rarely is it obvious,

often it is hidden,

frequently the route

is circuitous.


So much is in the way!

Some obstacles are the size of whole trees.

Others are as small as a single leaf.

All are part of Creation.


And behind them,


is the water.


Our souls are awaiting.


We can find our way.


Let us journey together.

Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as a Nature Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma’yan Tikvah – A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is the President pro-tem of the Boston-based Jewish Climate Action Network

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