I like it when my mother tried to teach me things, when she paid attention. So often when I was with her, she was unreachable. Whenever she turned her steep focus on me, I felt the warmth that flowers must feel when they bloom through the snow, under the first concentrated rays of sun.
“Always learn poems by heart,’ she said. “They have to become the marrow in your bones. Like fluoride in water, they will make your soul impervious to decay.”
I imagined my soul taking in these words like the silicate water in the Petrified Forest, turning my wood into patterned agate. I liked it when my mother shaped me this way. I thought clay must be happy in the good potter’s hand.
Janet Fitch, White Oleander
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 forty-second day – six weeks of the Omer.