Why it was wonderful;
Why, all at once there were leaves,
Leaves at the end of a dry stick, small, alive
Leaves out of wood. It was wonderful.
You can’t imagine. They came by the wood path
And the earth loosened, the earth relaxed, there were
Out of the earth! Think of it! And oak trees
Oozing new green at the tips off them and flowers
Squeezed out of clay, soft flowers, limp
Stalks flowering. Well, it was like a dream.
It happened so quickly, all of a sudden
That is how it happens, isn’t it? Just as the poet says, all of a sudden, it happened.We wait and wait for winter to be over, and then all of a sudden, it happens.Will we ever get used to the shock of the change from the waiting to the reality? How do we navigate that?
This is the month of fertility. We notice bulging bellies in the creatures awaiting the birth of their young, in the women who have shed heavy winter coats revealing the life growing within, in the plump buds appearing on the tree limbs and the leaves pushed up through the earth by bulbs hidden below. They each speak of what is coming. But don’t we know that a bulging belly is different from a litter of puppies or kittens, different from a baby with lungs to holler and eyes that call us to fall in love. We know that a green tip poking out of the earth is different from a bright purple crocus or bobbing yellow daffodil, which will amaze us, even though we have seen them scores of times before.
This is the month of Passover, when the story of the Exodus of the Israelites, our ancestors, from slavery into freedom is retold. Our forebears did not really know how to navigate the change from yearning for freedom, to having it. Sometimes they whined and complained that it was easier when they didn’t have to always figure things out when challenges and hard times arose. They had to learn to appreciate the balance between freedom and responsibility. Don’t we all.
This is the month of Easter, a puzzling holiday that reconciles the grief that comes from the loss of the pastor/prophet, Jesus, with the incredible resilience of his radical message of love and justice that cannot be squelched despite 2000 years of trying.
We mark the transitions, and year after year, with the poet let our hearts sing once again:
Why it was wonderful;
And it is.
Wishing you a touch of wonder and a splash of joy this April.