A Confluence of Holy Days

“My work is loving the world... my work... is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished... is mostly rejoicing... is gratitude...”

– from Messenger by Mary Oliver

“I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass... how to be idle and blessed...”

– from The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

There are lots of religious holidays converging this weekend! Muslims are observing Ramadan which recalls the month that the Quran was written. Hindus are preparing to celebrate Holi, the Festival of Colors on Monday. Jews will celebrate Purim and tell the story of Queen Esther on Sunday. Christians will begin Holy Week – the most important week of their liturgical year. Tonight (Friday March 22nd) Helen Cymbala will lead a Spring Equinox circle in the Chapel for pagans and earth-centered folks.

On Sunday I shared some signs of spring with the children including a few facts about the amazing, heat-generating skunk cabbage which provides an early-spring warming hut for bees. I thought it was so cool that I shared my Skunk Cabbage Amazement at staff meeting as well.

Our Engagement Coordinator, Rebecca Driscoll, then shared that every year her dad- a life-long Unitarian- took her and her sister on “Signs of Spring Walks” through the month of March. The appearance of skunk cabbage was a pivotal moment- a definite sign of hope that spring was really on its way.

Even with the fickle spring weather, I hope some of you have been able to go on your own walk searching for signs of spring. I’m not sure what to make of the confluence of all these religious holidays, but I do know that a lot is stirring under the surface.

With gratitude for living in a religiously pluralistic nation,

Rev. Lee

P.S. Thanks to the folks who attended the Andover Islamic Center’s Community Night: Nancy Cottrill, Kathy Slade, Prudence Barker & Dave Lewis, Jerusha Ryan & Paul McCarthy. We learned a lot and enjoyed wonderful food; I gave another donation to World Central Kitchen in thanks for their hospitality. (My reflection on the Israel/Gaza conflict, the continued imprisonment of hostages as well as the terrible worsening hunger crisis in Gaza was in last week’s Enews.)