Like clockwork, yellow daisies cover Georgia’s Arabia Mountain every fall.
This vivid sight always inspires me. These cousins of sunflowers gather in sandy patches across granite outcrops in Georgia, Alabama, North and South Carolina. As I hiked the blooming landscape outside Atlanta last weekend, I wondered about my own yellow daisy, that experience that happens once a year. What do I need to do to plant the seeds that will grow next year?
I’m pondering these questions because this weekend is the start of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates with Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). These are the holiest days in Judaism. A time of soul-searching. We reflect on our mistakes, make amends with others, ask to be forgiven. We pray to be inscribed “in the book of life.”
Every faith has a ritual for self-reflection, atonement and forgiveness. Who doesn’t want to wipe the slate clean? Every flower has a meaning. The yellow daisy signifies innocence. Just like this hardy flower can adapt to and survive in any environment, so can we; even during a pandemic. Unlike the yellow daisy, we can choose to bring joy and brightness into the world every day of the year. We can commit to do better, be better.