Friday, October 02, 2009

A Sweet Letting-Go

On Rosh HaShanah, it’s traditional to serve sweet foods - the thought being that what you eat during this New Year celebration will influence your year to come. Stay away from bitter foods, salty things and instead stick to sweetness - apples & honey, honey-cakes, anything with honey, really.

Another holiday tradition is called Tashlich, meaning "you will cast." Tashlich involves grabbing some bread and heading to a moving body of water, to "cast off" the bread and let it be carried away by the current.

To The Water

Typically, the practice of Tashlich symbolizes casting off your sins from the prior year as you prepare to move into the new one. Just as the river carries away your bread, so too does God remove your sins from you – as far as the east is from the west.

I didn’t need to cast off sin (that’s already taken care of) but I did want to do Tashlich to commemorate the passing of a difficult season in my life.

(In the past 8 months, I made it through thirteen (13!) wedding- or baby-related events. And as happy as I was for the friends involved in those events, it was no easy row for a girl to hoe when she’s struggling with singleness, lemme tell ya.)

I wanted to make a symbolic break with this season, to toss any associated negative emotions out to sea and let God carry them away.

So on the second day of Rosh HaShanah (Tashlich is performed on the second day, if the first falls on Shabbat as it did this year), I grabbed a cinnamon raisin bagel on my way out of church, met up with a friend, and headed to the East River to do some casting.

Grab Friend

Looking out over the water, I thought about what I needed to let go. And I let my cinnamon raisin bagel symbolize those things, that baggage, the hurdles I didn’t have to hurdle anymore. And piece by piece, I cast my bagel upon the river and watched it disappear.

Cast Off

God, thank you for bringing me through this season. And now, please carry it far, far, FAR away. I trust you to be a God of new beginnings.”

Let Go

I love the symbolism of Tashlich.

I love knowing that there is nothing we carry that can't be let go. Nothing that God can't take care of. No condition nor season is permanent.

Here's wishing for sweetness in the new year...

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