This poem is part of Rabbi Diane Elliot’s collection of 49 poems, This Is the Day, Ha-Yom Yom, inspired by the ancient practice of counting the Omer.
I do my first day of
hod chanting practice
sitting on a gray plastic chair
outside the Grand Prix Carwash,
amidst the roar of the drying machine,
the traffic zooming along San Pablo Dam Road,
the tingtingbombabomba of passing cars,
their windows down, stereos booming.
It’s hot. The hills across
the north Bay blur in the humid air.
At my feet, a multi-colored profusion of petunias
surrounds a baby palm tree in a concrete planter.
A miniature twisted pine stands next to
the concrete structure across the driveway
that houses the track along which the cars roll.
They enter, filmed with road grease and fallout
from the Chevron refinery down the hill
and exit dripping water and liquid wax,
gleaming in the thick heat of afternoon.
Is it attention to minute detail,
to the sheer variety of life,
that ignites the inner glow of love,
or is it the capacity for loving
that awakens us to earthly splendor,
to the many forms that Love can take?
Boundless lovingkindness within