Mark the Time: Ma’ariv Araveem

sunset through the clouds
You can mark the time any way you like–
make notches in a tree,
though the tree might prefer not to take part.
That collection of watches, many near their end
and fallen to the bottom of your sock-drawer–
Einstein would remind you
that time might slow and eventually get us all.
You note the time here on the Belt Parkway
driving like a heathen for an early dinner date.
God never meant for you to drive due-West
still so light this late winter Shabbat
through terrible sun glare, God’s reminder–
another Commandment is broken.
But plans are plans, and God can go ahead and laugh.
Then, you notice the time through layers and layers
of sun-struck clouds—green and grey, and pink and even mauve–
so last century– we know how God
takes the long view. They unfold, then unroll
almost like the Torah the first time you saw it whole
and didn’t know a single word,
but knew how to behold.
Here’s God all right,
blinding as you peer aside your sun visor, as drivers must–
an improvisation–human, and real, and maybe God-inspired.
But then there’s God, the Great Improviser,
peeking through the clouds again
to remind you’ve almost arrived.
May we all drive well through sun and clouds,
and whatever else God has in store–
and may we all, soon and safely, arrive.
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