Separate the Waters

Ostara and the Ovid Moon of Metamorphoses

Friday gratefuls: Kate, always Kate. Her chipmunk face. The feed bag. Kep and Rigel, bright spots in each day. Vaccines. Kate’s at 2:30 on Saturday. Covid. Illness and struggle. The Ancient Ones and Spring.

Sparks of Joy: A normal Presidential press conference. A good annual physical.

Passover begins on Sunday, March 28th. The vaccine is our lamb’s blood over the lintel this year. Azrael, pass us by. Pfizer and Moderna, protect us.

This holiday may be my favorite one of all. Why? Because of its focus on liberation, on empowerment and freedom from oppression, on taking action against oppressors.

Also because of its honesty. The Exodus began with the Hebrew slaves leaving the Pharaoh’s plantation and escaping through a seemingly impassable obstacle. But it took forty years (a long time) to accomplish. And in that time there were gripes, and blasphemy, and salvation by manna. A mixed bag. The Torah came down. As did the Ten Commandments. Burning bush, yes. But, golden calf, too.

The journey from enslavement to self-determination is not an instantaneous one. It takes determination, doggedness, a willingness to embrace doubt and confusion, yet keep moving. This is true for individuals, for former slaves from Egypt or Louisiana, for those of us still searching for a just America.

One of religion’s great gifts is its retention of these stories, of these yearnings of the human soul. Whether it’s Vishnu as the stable factor in creation and Shiva the creative and destructive force or the Tao as the water course way or Jesus and the story of resurrection, we can reach into these flashes of insight that help us navigate this strange miracle we name life.

So, if you’re member of the tribe, or a fellow traveler like me, find a seder, eat some bitter herbs and watch the kid find the afikomen. Your life and the life of those you love will be better for it.