The kettle of vultures circled over me on the eve of Yom H’Shoah, holocaust remembrance day, a juxtaposition that escaped my notice. I was too wrapped up in the notion of vultures as spiritual messengers to attend to any deeper meaning or release outdated and embedded perceptions. Do we all struggle to remember that our messages are not always found in another’s interpretation? And perhaps that has been the tenor and tone of the month, a song of personal trust that is echoing through me, a reminder that the wisdom I need is only a breath away. My breath.
Vultures embrace death as easily as they celebrate life. Wonderful mothers that are also vital partners in an eco-system that demands we cleanse and renew that world around us. Vultures rest as a committee or a volt, fly as a kettle, and feed as a wake, each word so profoundly descriptive of their engagement with each other, as well as the value of the individual. Their message rests in those words.
As a committee we watch and discuss, but as a volt we prepare for bursts of activity. As a kettle we hold space for and acknowledge the importance of those around us. And as a wake we celebrate life and honor death, sometimes of those we know, but often those without names. Welcome to the power of Yom H’shoah, a day of remembrance of those murdered; a day to grieve without despair the empty spaces created in our future; a day to charge ourselves with the task before us.
I am alive today because my grandfather embraced a volt of awareness and led his family and my grandmother out of danger. He risked his life to create my future. And now, as the vultures remind me, it is my turn to live as a volt of energy, fly as part of the kettle of my community, and remember that death is also a sacred dance of life. And that it is my obligation to assure that never again means never again.