Chag sameach, and good Passover to those that observe and celebrate it. It's a favorite time of year here at chez woolly. The grass is green, the forsythia and red bud are in bloom, and it's time to shop for lamb and matzo.
I learned a new thing this year, as I was scouring the local food-sellers (seriously y'all, I've been to four different grocery stores in two days). We always hold our Seder on the Saturday night that falls within Passover. That works best for all the guests who have 9-to-5, Monday through Friday gigs (especially since dinner is always followed by more wine, music, and sometimes dancing.)
Anyway, for the last several years I have had the damnedest time finding matzo, and last year I ended up having to hit two different Publix grocery stores to get the lamb (yes, that is a lot of lamb. I generally feed anywhere from 25-30 people.) Anyway, this year the first Publix I hit has bales of matzo out in front and four different leg-o-lambs to choose from. At first I thought it was a Passover miracle, but then I realized that I wasn't buying my groceries three days after everyone else has already been there and done that. Note to self: in years where Passover starts on a Wednesday, buy the lamb early.
Getting ready for Seder is a weeks long process at our house. My house gets serious-deep-cleaned twice a year (don't judge): right before Seder and right before Thanksgiving. Both major feasts, go figure. We've been cleaning the carpets, going through cabinets, vacuuming those weird corners where you have to get out the wand attachment and most of the time you don't bother -- that kind of thing. We've also gotten a new dryer and a new mattress and box springs in the last week or two.
Earlier this week I woke up and found Maurice taking in a sunbeam. Dude knows how to relax when the time is right. I decided to take a leaf out of his proverbial book and joined him in that sunbeam on Wednesday. A bit of calm before the final storm. (It went like this: Last weekend: mad cleaning. Monday and Tuesday: back at the office. Wednesday: curled up in a sunbeam with a stuffed hippopotamus. Thursday: Every. Grocery. Store. In. The. World. Today: re-clean all the things that came unclean since last weekend.)
Passover is a time for rebirth and renewal. It's a New Year's celebration where we celebrate what it means to be free.
When Carl and I got rid of our broken dryer (there are two things I need a dryer to do for me: start, and dry clothes. Ours quit reliably doing either one) and our funky old mattress, we weren't deliberately or intentionally engaging in some kind of life-as-ritual activity. The stuff was broken or crap, or broken AND crap, and it was just time to replace it.
But there's a nice synergy to the timing anyway. I am very grateful for the freedom to be able to rid myself of things that are no longer functional or beautiful in my life and to replace them with new (or "new to us") things that do work. Our household has enjoyed some renewal and rebirth this week, and I'm loving it.
Last week my buddy Koren started trying to talk me into doing a Barre DVD that she recently acquired. I think her long game is to get me to come to class with her, but she knows that I am allergic to leaving my house, and doubly allergic to leaving it in yoga pants. Anyway, she suggested that she could bring the DVD over when she comes to help get ready for Seder.
I started to hem, haw, and otherwise make noncommittal noises at her when she said, "Set your intentions for the New Year."
I got goosebumps and my eyes teared up. I had this immediate, physical reaction. My whole body said, "Yes. This."
Dammit. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm as liable to ignore signs and symbols as the next guy, but that was pretty frickin' obvious. "Alright, alright. Bring it."
(I did the DVD yesterday. It was fun. Who am I?)
As a society, and culture we have a lot of energy and tradition wrapped up in the New Year's Resolution in January (and let's face it, there is nearly as much tradition in the idea of the failed resolution in February.) It seems to me that January is a crappy time to try to motivate yourself to be healthier, exercise more, etc. etc. It's dark, it's cold, and everything in your hind-brain is telling you to add a little extra padding here and there so you can live through the winter. It's not until Spring that I, at least, really start to feel the energy of "a naye yor, a naye leben."
I'm going to play with this idea this year. I haven't decided what my resolutions for rebirth and renewal are going to be yet (I think they are going to have something to do with decluttering...both my butt and my house. I have a lot of excess weighing me down these days). I'll let you know.
What are you doing to bring rebirth and renewal into your life this Spring?
Oh! And I haven't forgotten that this is a knitting blog. This is what I spent my sunbeam-day doing:
Trying out knitting a sock on a 9" circular needle. My hands are confused, and a little annoyed, but I think that once they're used to how to hold the needles, it'll work just fine. I am really digging the "go around in a circle forever" aspect of it.