I'm familiar with your story

This gratitude you cultivate helps ground you

And yet, do you really deserve to ask for more?

The answer to this question will give you the balance you seek

Sometimes you need a reminder that we already said farewell to the month of Av

As it is written in Job: "Man born of woman is short of days, and fed with trouble. He blossoms like a flower and withers, and vanishes, like a shadow." (Job 14:1–2)

In Elul, you are instructed to enjoy the ephemeral beauty of the flowers without worry of their withering

Since  t'shuva /repentance is the name of the game, instead of fearing change we welcome it in

Every morning the shofar calls you to  t'shuva /repentance

Are you listening?

How might you be more awake in order to hear its sound?

Allow the August blossoms a chance to bring you to the presence you desire.


Step 1 – gather flower petals into a large bowl- ideally four colors and four different species. Bowl is ideally wood but can also be glass or metal.

In New England this is a great time of year to find a diversity of lilies, Queen Anne's lace, chicory and aster.

Step 2 – fill your bowl with water covering the petals – ideally spring water but tap water is also fine. The chance to visit a river, lake or small spring will only add to the ritual

Step 3 – ASK FOR SOMETHING. This is for real. If you're going to open up enough to do real  t'shuvah /repentance this year, you have to acknowledge that you are not yet whole – that there is something about yourself you want to change, or at least cultivate. A useful formula is "May I be…" or "Let me be…"

Step 4 – Pour the entire bowl of petals and water over your head and proclaim: " Horeini Ya Darkecha  – הוֹרֵנִי יְהוָה, דַּרְכֶּךָ – reveal to me your path" – Ps. 27:11. This is both the sealing of our request and also a letting go of wanting only one thing.

Based on the teachings of the Eish Kodesh, Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira

Written by Sarah Chandler for "Earth Etudes for Elul" https://jewcology.org/blogs/

Booklet Section: Elul Blessings, Prayers, Poems 
Source: https://jewcology.org/2013/08/earth-etude-for-elul-10-ready-for-withering-flowers/