This is Zeppo the newest member of our family and a novice Zen master. He arrived about four and a half months ago at the age of three months and is now nearly 8 months; quite well behaved (some days,) but not nearly perfected. We’ll all go to school the week after next to make sure that perfect happens. Zeppo is part Border Collie, his maternal side; the other side is a deep unknown, perhaps a digger and car chaser.
Today we were at the dog park, and Zeppo met a cousin about his age. Wow! Scary!
But being the Zen master he is, change is inevitable.
Last fall I participated in a Tashlikh Celebration at the Richmond Folk Festival. Tashlikh is a Jewish New Year’s tradition that traces its origins to the biblical Book of Micah, which says that God will “cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” In this ritual we threw pieces of bread into a river, symbolizing letting go of those aspects of our past (and in my case the recent present) that prevent us from flourishing.
The hebrew word tashlikh is related to shalekhet, which describes the way a tree sheds its leaves. Two days ago our town was savaged by a freakish wind and many trees shed leaves, branches and whole selves across houses, lawns, and streets, and in one case a life.
I wonder about God?
As bad as things are today. Imagine, if you would, the 4th of July, 1863. Lee is in Pennsylvania and Gettysburg is awash in the blood of neighbors, friends, fathers, and sons. What would tomorrow be?
This guy offers a bit of optimism. Enjoy the holiday.