Monday, April 25, 2016

Past Over

One of my favorite things about Passover is the opportunity to talk to family members we don't often get to see. Over course after course of traditional (and sometimes not so traditional) food, we catch each other up on work and kids' activities and just where we stand in the world since the last time we saw each other. If I am lucky, we play a kind of musical chairs as dinner goes on, so that my conversation partners change constantly. With so many different points of view, I inevitably come away from the meal with not only a full stomach, but also a wide variety of new perspectives on almost any issue over which I have been puzzling. Sometimes, I am doing a completely different job than I was the last time I saw people. Often, I am handling an entirely different parenting challenge. Whatever the circumstances, presenting them to new listeners both makes me hear them differently and makes me see more clearly what they mean.

It has been many years now since my conversation was about the demise of the soaps, and perhaps it is actually because of that passage of time that I have come to appreciate Passover conversations so much. In some small way, my life has become one of constant movement and change, much like the story of Passover. So, while every day, it may feel as though I have settled in, each year, I have the opportunity to assess where I have been and where I am going. The past may be over, but my Passover conversations always manage to remind me that there is a future. And that I can, if I choose, actually have control of that future. And that is part of the festive meal that sends me home each year feeling very full indeed.

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