Life in the Round

by Risè Kirbo

The circle is an ancient symbol.  It’s as vast as the planets in our solar system and as microscopic as an atom.  It is an infinite image with no beginning and no end.

Life changes.  I now make my home in a round structure called a yurt.  All 16 sides of the yurt are equal.  There are no dusty corners or sharp angles. Ten windows illuminate all the stages of light and shadow as day passes to night.  Candles reflect primal images which dance across the domed ceiling.  The view from the Yurt is a panorama of trees and sky.  The trees stand like sentries with their solid round trunks and leafy canopies, providing cooling shade by day and a protective embrace by night.  As darkness falls and the moon rises, the sky appears as a luminous and silvery backdrop behind the silhouette of trees.

I have joined my ancestors who gathered around the glow of a fire pit for evening comfort and community.  I am one with the Navaho and their hogans, living in harmony with nature.

And in the small hours of the morning, when life can be the darkest, I feel the strength and resilience of my ancestral family surrounding me.  I am bathed in their love and hope as the new day dawns full circle.


As the month of Elul comes to a close, connecting the past year with the coming year, I want to extend heartfelt thanks to all the contributors and readers of Echoes of Elul. In our busy lives it can be hard to find the time to stop and reflect on what matters the most. I very much appreciate the willingness and the generosity of the writers and the open minds and hearts of the readers.

A special thanks to: Soni Sanberg for believing in me and providing a second set of eyes.
Ruth Irving for all she put up with.
Jill Weinthal for her unwavering support.
Yanir Dekel for getting the Words out!
And of course, Rabbi Heidi, for always saying “YES!”

L’Shana Tova
Risè Kirbo


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