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Pilgrimage to Passover: Southwest Desert Passage

Guest Author: 
Michele Tamaren

“I turn my eyes to the mountains; from where will my help come?”  

—Psalm 121

My home sits at the rocky edge of the sea in Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA, yet my heart called me to the desert, home of my Israelite ancestors, in preparation for Passover 2013. Over three thousand years ago, Moses led the Jewish people out of Egyptian slavery, over treacherous slopes and burning sands until they reached the Promised Land. Today, Jews the world over, celebrate Passover, retell the freedom story at seders, and look inward to recognize and release our inner, personal bondage.

During the February SDI Pilgrimage to the American Southwest, I stepped out of my life and into my soul. The desert landscape drew me to explore the dryness within: places that need tending, binds to loosen, people and situations I’m ready to forgive. It beckoned me to prune so that my spirit may grow.

Spiny, stalwart cactus swords, soaring eagles, hovering humming birds, craggy peaks, deep silence whispered of the Eternal Now. Past, present, future became one.

On a steep, uneven, rocky mountain trail, I prayed to Spirit to guide each footfall of this uninitiated seaside dweller. I implored, “Please lead the way!” On that mountain veils lifted, and I understood. I was not alone; I was never alone. 

I returned from the desert renewed, refreshed, replenished, and ready to step into the fullness of my life. A seed is preparing to spout this spring, and it is my choice to water, to nurture, to weed, to listen well to what this green shoot has to tell.  It remembers Source’s intentions for my path, my purpose. When yes is the answer to my undeniable stirrings, my heart opens to the One Heart. Yes is the sign, the seal, the step that leads me along my path to God.  In the Southwest desert I passed over from the narrow, constricted place into the land of my soul. 

Reflection: In this season of Passover, what arises when you look inward to recognize and release your inner, personal bondage? Where is the yes in your story?

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