Home made pizza and fresh doughnuts appeared on the table as soon as the sun set today, or actually, just a few minutes earlier – the kids were getting restless. Irwin burnt some sage, and everybody cheered and dug in and Passover ended in Sonoma and elsewhere on the planet as the seventh day became night and the matza boxes carefully closed and put away.
(Haven’t shaved in seven days. My beard is getting itchy. I still haven’t found out the real reasons for the no-shaving tradition)
We (some of us anyway) count seven days of not eating bread, at times we count seven days of mourning, count the seventh day of creation as the weekly Sabbath, recite seven blessings at weddings and keep seven days between menstrual period and ritual purity. We talk of seven heavens and seven dwarfs and seven deadly sins. This tradition of Counting the Omer is rooted in the cycles of seven x times – seven weeks culminating with night 49 that leads to day 50 – the grand finale of Sinai.
Seven is big mythic business. but why?
According to many sources in anthropological circles, the cyclical patter of the number seven is not a natural phenomena – it is man made, an act of culture, not nature. Humans came up with the notion of a seven day week – inspired by the rotations of the sun – but created by mortals. ( I know Genesis begs to differ and claims that God created Shabbat, but still)
So, for me, tonight, this means that the sacred rhythms and cycles are in my hands. If I count – the count matters, the seventh day becomes Sabbath, this seventh night leads on to the eighth, and an ordinary calendar becomes a road map to greater consciousness. And i don’t – it doesn’t. Seven is about will.
so I end this first week of counting, of Chesed – kindness and focus on more gentle loving of self with an affirmation of will and porpoise and focus – count each day as it becomes night, and trust that meaning will emerge from within this pattern. It’s a type of mind control, a meditation on movement within. Also – less pizza and such – keep to the careful diet that makes me feel energetic and healthy.
It’s quiet here in the mountains and I will go to sleep early, pausing to look back, like the creator herself, at the past seven days of a new reality and take stock, and smile, and rest, and continue tomorrow.