Chag Sameach, My Be-love-va’eds,
I have two favorite holidays: Shavuot and Tu B’Shvat. It makes a lot of sense if you know me, because the only thing I dig as much as the supernal is the elemental.
A day for celebrating the trees. New growth, new life, new potential beneath the surface. (And so much more.) The glory of the Tree Of Life. How we must be stewards for her.
If there’s one thing I love, it’s sweet-talking plants. I love writing love letters to the Tree of Life. And I wanted to share this blessitation (I just made that up…and I think I’m into it,) with you.
This track was created in collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Aaron Jacobson. He took two of my Tu B’Shvat poems, Dogwood Winter and A Love Letter to your Branches and Roots, and created this piano composition. We presented it to my soul-sister (and Aaron’s DNA-sister) on Tu B’Shvat eve-eve, which is my Avivaversary.
I hope you enjoy it. I hope it acts as sweet-soul-sap and pours like syrupy sealant into the empty spaces in your heart.
…And speaking of possible empty spaces in your heart…if you are feeling the struggle right around now, please know that you’re not alone. I can tell you that personally, I feel a bit destabilized. It feels kinda like my entire world is shattering around me. No big deal. So I have decided that what I am perceiving as “my world” may actually be klippot, layers of extra encasement I am now growing out of. I mean, you don’t see lil’ chickadees refusing to leave their shells, or butterflies that prefer to stay cocooned, right?
I was talking with one of my most important soul-guides on this life journey, Rabbi Yona Aryeh Refson, about the depth of my fear and sorrow, and he let me know that this is very natural at this time in the year’ spiral. Many people are experiencing these growing pains right now. So I pass that message along to you, in hopes that it may alleviate some of your potential discomfort. I know it helped soothe me a bit.
Hey, one more thing…when you’re done listening to this track—or better yet, while you listen to this track—as Rabbi Nachman urged, go hug a tree. Forget about that cynical pejorative term used to insult people for being “too hippie-dippie.” Ignore the looks you get from passersby. The energy and grace in these sacred beings is far more powerful then any human side-eye. As you know, without trees, we humans would be toast. They literally give us the breath of life.
Tu B’Shvat Double Blessing
by Rachel Kann and Aaron Jacobson
Photo: “While hugging a tree, never forget to look up” by Alan Ramirez