Shabbat Inspiration August 13

By Julie Meyer

Today I watered the morning glories that climb over the apartment window in Cleveland Circle three separate times, morning, noon, and afternoon. This is three times more than their daily water budget.

For the last two seasons, we’ve planted an increasing number of vines to shade our apartment from the southern sun bouncing off the cars and the alley into our home, what we call “the bear den.” It’s what the real estate company advertised as a “garden apartment” because it is at ground level or partly below grade.

It’s a legit garden apartment now!

This June, the 5th summer of our rental, instead of planting another set of morning glories, we filled the window with an air-conditioner due to, well… this June. Now we use the a/c to protect us from the heat that is in part brought on by air conditioners. The air today is hot, carbonized, and carrying smoke. Our windows are closed.

Annie Dillard, in her book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, said, “I am not … in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wandering awed about on a splintered wreck I’ve come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air.”

The air seems so indelicate today as I skimmed the International Government Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report. Truthfully, the science is too number-crunchy for me to sustain, the description of impacts too biblical in scale. I find myself focused on mitigation.

Also today I read my cousin’s thoughts about this week’s parsha, Shoftim (Judges), about Tzedek– the concept of justice that orders our society. Like the morning glories climbing the wires, I wrap myself around both the IPCC report and Seth’s meditations to grasp how will we end the use of fossil fuels, justly.

How are you reflecting and preparing for the new year?

It is, by some accounts, 5781 years since the world was made. By other accounts the calendar starts a year before creation. Still others talk about the Big Bang and consider 14 billion years the beginning of time.

Whatever time it is, it’s time. I am inspired by the morning glories, twining around one another to shade and protect the inhabitants within, with whom I share beingness.