Early one morning I raised my sails and tacked out of the canal, not sure where I wanted to go. When I reached the open water, I decided not to cross the bay to the barrier beach, as was my custom, but to hug the mainland. I turned eastward toward the climbing sun and made a long run past familiar landmarks... The heat of August was on the land and a rich, deep foliage covered the shore. Through the leaves I could see occasional signs of civilization: a chimney, a gas tank, a water tower, a church steeple. I lived there, along with thousands of others, somewhere beyond the tree line in that suburban town. But from the sea, under the sail of my sloop, the coast looked sparsely settled, barely touched by human habitation and still pristine…
But as soon as I reached the open water, I found myself faced with a familiar dilemma; this freedom I cherished came with a precondition: I had to decide where I wanted to go.
Richard Bode, First You Have to Row a Little Boat
from Omer: A Counting by Rabbi Karyn Kedar
Baruch Ata Adonai Elo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam a-sher ke-d-sha-nu b- mitz-vo-tav, v-tzi-va-nu al s-fi-rat ha-omer.
Praised be you Adonai our God who rules the Universe instilling within us the holiness of mitzvot by commanding us to count the Omer. Today is the third day of the Omer.