Ya’ know that old trees just grow stronger
And old rivers grow wilder ev’ry day
~ John Prine , RIP, you died with so much left to share ~
The Pink Moon shines brightly, indicating the time of year when pink spring flowers start to appear, according to Native American calendar keeping. It’s peaceful and silent here, no cars can be heard traveling up the valley, just the rush of the river can be heard from ½ a mile away as the spring melt off begins. And the Canadian geese balking, heading south, to the light of the full moon.
It’s peaceful. An occasional helicopter is heard, time for a quiet prayer for all onboard- “God bless that patient, God Bless those healthcare workers .” The life flight disappears into the evening dusk with hopes of healing at far away hospitals. At 8:00 p.m. the howls of appreciation resound , cheering our healthcare workers on with gratitude and appreciation. Gratitude and appreciation, fear and sadness sting in the night air. Jen D. writes:
This can bring tears to our eyes,
Try to strangle our lungs
And pierce our hearts
But It won’t get our souls
We won’t let it…
It’s a poem befitting the emotions of Passover. And Holy Week. Certainly this year.
Each holiday commemoration, a ritual, a tradition, put in place to recognize God’s victory over our suffering. This year I am taking this time a bit more seriously. Certainly more solemnly. And, letting go of waxing too romantic for traditions perfectly observed, it is not a year to be religious about that!
This year is going to be different. A Buddhist Easter of sorts, long on self compassion and forgiveness for the Easter Bunny and the chef who maybe orders take out this year. Non-attachment to our rituals. I welcome that. Any excuse that backs up my lame execution.
One thing we will do is an egg hunt. Little plastic easter eggs filled with candy, and a little money ~so the young adult twerps will bother with participating~ and a few containing written fortunes and forced family fun. (One rotten egg might read, “Give mom a 10 minute foot massage.” I think this year there may be toilet paper offered in the Golden Egg. We are getting low…)
This year, we can focus less on collecting crappy candy, and more on fundamentals. What do we believe, think, question for that matter?
What is Easter? What is Passover? What do the fanatics mean when they speak of prophesies playing out or by this being a ‘real life Passover this year.’ It’s a great time for teaching our kids, and learning ourselves. It’s what Jesus was doing in these final days. And a reminder of the importance of looking back. Are these really unprecedented times?
Eerie is a word that I keep using and hearing. Mostly in a good way, acknowledging the beauty of the silence, the lack of cars on the road. Mountain ranges in India, California, China are reported back into view. with less pollution in the air. Beauty abounds and we find comfort in the reliability of the rhythms of nature. It’s a good time for listening. And observing. And appreciating what is. We can appreciate the similarities of our faith traditions, looking past the differences, which more and more appear to just be in the details. Hope, transcendence, and adaptability are in our nature.
So today on this first day of Passover, this Holy and fully bizarre Wednesday, this lead up to Easter weekend; Enjoy a slower pace. Be in tune. Be inspired. Be thankful. For rabbis down under, and a post man turned singer with a knack for helping us smile through life, and death. God Bless you, John Prine. And Shalom.
It is not that we have lost our sense of certainty. We have lost our illusion of certainty. We never had it to begin with. This could be majorly unsettling, or amazingly liberating. This tiny virus of 125 nanometers* has sent the entire world into chaos. All of our plans are up in the air, markets are going crazy, entire countries shutting down, and we have no clue what the future holds. But that is always the case. We never know what the future holds. We only think we do and keep getting surprised when things don’t pan out the way we expected. Now the mask is off. We must admit our vulnerability. What will happen next? We don’t know. Our experts don’t know. Our leaders don’t know. Only God knows. And that is the point. Only God knows. Close your eyes and feel the uncertainty, make peace with it, let yourself be taken by it. Embrace your cluelessness. Because in all the confusion there is one thing you know for sure. You are in God’s hands. Try to keep calm. Panic and fear are also contagious. Be careful. Be safe. Wash your hands well. And as you do, remember whose hands you are in.
~ Rabbi Aron Moss, ( from Australia.)