Hineni: A Kavanah for Tisha B’Av

footsteps in sand

I am here, standing in the desert.
I wear heavy clothing that will protect me from bullets,
but not from my hurting heart.
I am here, my breasts filling with milk,
for a baby that is home on the other side of the world.
I am here, silent, while others around me
are complaining.
We have stood here a long time.
They said the bus would come for us.
That was four hours ago.
It is the middle of the night.
No one has come.
So we wait.
I am here, looking down at my boots.
They are tan suede, covered in dust.
My socks are dirty from two days of travel,
bunched up,
hurting my toes.
I am here, turning my head up to see the moon and stars above,
more clearly than I have ever seen them before.
I see into the Universe,
and suddenly feel it.
I know.
Hinei.
I am here, more present than ever before
in my life.
I am here in the desert.
I am here stripped bare.
I am here without my child.
I am here with aching breasts.
I am here dirty,
hungry,
thirsty.
I am here with a back that hurts,
with sweaty socks,
a body that wants to sleep.
I am here, and nowhere else.
I am here, and I accept it.
I am here and I embrace it.
There is nothing I can do to change it,
I realize I do not want to change it.
This is the journey.
Hineni.

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