A New Year is upon us, at least according to the Gregorian calendar. There are resolutions which abound. There are advertisements for free gym memberships and nutritionists to help tell us what we already know. There are a myriad of commercials encouraging us to clean our houses and organize our spaces. But where are the notices for our emotional or spiritual growth? Where do we go to make real change? Rabbi Rachel Barenblat (aka “Velveteen Rabbi”) wrote a poem talking about just that and I would like to share it with you.

It’s titled “Transplant”:
God says: face facts. The old year is ending. You’ve outgrown it. The flowerpot that used to be home isn’t big enough anymore. Once it was spacious. Now your roots push uncomfortably against the walls. It’s time to stop contorting yourself to fit inside a story that’s too small for who you can become. God whacks the bottom of your  pot, sends you flying. Once you’re pried from the old year your roots will ache, shocked by open air. You’ll wonder whether you could have stopped growing. But one morning you’ll wake, realize you’ve stretched in ways you never knew you hadn’t done before. The sun will feel like a benediction, like grace. You can’t help turning and re-turning toward the light, toward becoming. And wait ’til you see what dazzling flowers you’ll discover springing from your fingertips: your life renewed, beginning again.
As we sit in our warm houses looking at the bare trees, wondering if the bulbs we planted will bloom, I hope we are also able to look into ourselves and see our ability for growth. May this January, this New Year, bring renewal, rejuvenation, and rejoicing.

With prayers for abounding blessings, Shalom Rabbi Rachael Jackson