I invite you now to join me in the spirit of meditation and imagination.
Find a comfortable position in your seat and close your eyes.
Take a deep breath and try to find the restorative power of air and water in the breath.
We must breathe to live, but our bodies also need water to survive. Our bodies are more than half water! The air we breathe contains tiny droplets of water vapor. Can you feel them in your breath, flowing in and out of your body, like waves gently rolling in and out from the shore?
Take in a deep breath with me now.
Now notice your feet on the floor. Feel your connection to this meetinghouse and its old stone foundation grounded in the earth, connecting us to the generations who have gathered here before us. Ancestors whose presence lingers in this sacred space. What dreams and visions did they pursue here?
Now imagine these ancestors calling on us to create a new community at the start of a new year. What sort of a community will we create?
(optional:) Tonight marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which commemorates the creation of the world. Each new year is seen as an opportunity for a new creation, a time to refresh and recreate ourselves and our communities —a new opportunity to fulfill our hopes and dreams for a better world.
Ancient Hebrew tradition says that before the Earth was created, the world was a wild ocean full of dangerous sea monsters. Our world may sometimes feel like a wild ocean. We may feel like we are fighting against impossibly strong sea monsters.
But the waters are as mighty and powerful as the sea monsters, and that power runs in and through us, with each breath…in and out.
As we breathe, may we feel the rhythm of our breath, like the powerful waves crashing on the shores, turning and tumbling the largest boulders into the tiniest grains of sand.
As we breathe in, may we feel the restorative power of air and water nourishing the cells of our bodies, giving us the power to pursue our wildest dreams for our community and our world.
And as you breathe, notice the sounds… in like the whistle of the mighty ocean…out like the crashing of the powerful waves….
Let us breathe and make those sounds together now as we find our strength to begin the work of creation (optional:) in this new year.