Subscribe to my weekly email updates here. The following is from April 9.
Ready is a category we round up to. "Ready or not..." exists as a threat because more often than not, we're not sure we're ready. How to know when it's time to jump, leave, flee, embrace something else, try something new? How can one ever feel ready?
Ricardo Levins Moralestaught this past weekend at the Jewish Voice for Peace National Member Meeting about the wisdom of seeds. He taught that after a drought, seeds won't sprout at the first sign of water. No, he explains, seeds must be saturated over and over again, perhaps 10 times, before they are certain that water is coming. They need to be convinced that if they sprout, they won't then wither and die when the rain stops. These seeds need time to get ready--they cannot just blossom at the first promise of abundant rain.
This is not to say that the only way to take action is once we're ready, sometimes we must be ready to jump whenever the opportunity arises. Sometimes, we are not afforded the chance to get ready, but rather are forced to make it up, learn what we missed, as we go along. For those of us who define praxis as learning while doing, we know all too well that waiting until we are ready is a luxury.
I wrote about the Jewish ancestor Serach this week, as a touchpoint to help figure out readiness. So often when I am trying to discern when it is time to goor not, I'm holding on to a fear that when I go, I will be a different person. That the rules will change, my parents' phone number will be different, I'll forget the way home, my support network will evaporate. Serach reminds us that there are ways to hold memory from place to place, there are truths that remain true even when we change situation.
The matzah that is about to dust the floors of Jewish homes for the next 8 days is a reminder of just how hard it is to be ready. Why do we eat this matzah, you might ask? Because in their haste, the Israelites did not have time to let their bread rise when they fled Egypt. This makes me wonder--what is it that they were doing during plagues 1-9, when each time Moses demanded "let my people go--or else!" Did they so doubt that their freedom was imminent that they couldn't get ready a little in advance?
This Passover, this spring season of renewal in so many traditions, we are learning to get ready. May we learn what a slow unfolding looks like, what it means to take the luxurious and cautious time to get ready. And may we find ease and protection when we must take action before truly being ready.
A blessed Palm Sunday and a joyful Pesach to all who celebrate, and a liberator and regenerative spring to us all!