Transitions – Haibun

By Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg

This transition in my life from full time to part time work and toward retirement and old age is reflected in the season. It is a dappled time. It is a golden time.

Golden sunshine
Bright golden leaves
Nearly blinding

I move toward acceptance and wisdom, deeply wanting to give myself away, but in a different way. I want to enjoy life, feel nurtured, and truly embrace the love in my life.

Dappled dry leaves
Crunching under my foot
As I kiss the ground

I want the spiritual awareness that I have unearthed to be realized fully so it can serve as a beacon, a witness to God and others – a witness to my purpose and my legacy.

The oldest tree in Pennsylvania
Embraces me;
We have one mother.

And there are challenges – like strength and energy and especially balance. Also just remembering. And getting so tired. And habitual striving. Habitual good girl. And the pain in my face, my jaw. Frustration and fear are still here.

Amazing standing log
Upright on three legs,
A face but no roots.

Dreaming again
Wanting solace,
There’s only change.

Roots, yes, I have them. Some are crumbling, being questioned. Still I have Torah, Jewish community, the world of mysticism, wisdom literature, poetry, music. There is so much to draw upon. NO reason to despair.

Many trees with split trunks
Divided in two,
How well I know.

In many ways less divided now, clearer, knowing when to say yes and no, not needing a face anymore, not wanting to appear as anything or anyone. The time is urgent. The tasks are immense. I want to recall to call upon the Source of All.

Every leaf and nut
Knows it is the season
To return in love.

Returning to the Source of faith and love. What else gave birth to everything and what else awaits us at the end? Miracle of miracles. No matter who you are.

Super large magnolia leaves
Fallen, dried and brown,
Size no safe haven.

Neither size nor accomplishment, brilliance, cleverness, wit, not even friendliness, lovability.
We all return to the earth like the leaves in autumn.

And there still is plenty to unfold, perhaps. Who knows? Staying open. New teachers, new friends, new students, children, learning, all blessings. New struggles, new campaigns, losses and victories – who knows?

Delicate mini oak leaves
Still perfectly green
This time of year.

6 Responses to “Transitions – Haibun”

  1. Karen Fox

    You continue to be my teacher. May the blessings of
    candor and truth continue to embrace you.

  2. Laura Hegfield

    May you continuously be blessed and nurtured as you have blessed and nurtured all of us through many seasons dear Sheila. How grateful I am to say, to know that you have been and as long as I am breathing and remembering will be my teacher.

  3. aimee beyda

    Sheila, I just read this. I want to have more time to read it again and again! You have said so much that resonates with me,and validates so much for me. I needed these words and you expressed them gorgeously!,What a great writer, teacher,, and person you are. I want to send this to everyone I know in this stage of life, I have not read anything quite like it so true and so raw. It really moved me! Thank you for your being. May you enjoy this time of life, this season.. May you be fully nurtured and loved
    . With, love,and gratitude for your being, and many blessings always! Aimee

  4. AriellaShira Lewis

    I have been teaching and supporting others to celebrate this transition with a Simchat Chochmah ritual as taught by Savina Teubal, and I have had my own celebration. Thank you for capturing all the aspects of this change so eloquently and sharing it with us. What a gift!

  5. frank fischer

    welcome to the world of retirees. hope you enjoy the time you will now have.hope you have things to do to keep you creative.
    with blessings,


Leave a Reply to frank fischer

  • (will not be published)