By Br. Aidan Owen
We’re nearly at the end of our Lenten journey. The great sun of Easter peeks over the horizon. Lent seems to have gone so quickly this year. I almost feel I’ve missed it. Though, actually, every year I’m a little surprised by Easter. Maybe that’s how it should be. Easter is surprising. It interrupts the comfortable narrative of our lives, erupting, not so much in elation as in astonishment. How can this be?
The experience is not so different from knitting a sweater. At the beginning of the project, it seems like it will go on forever. Then, you’re in the middle of it, comfortably clicking away, stitch after stitch, like saying the rosary. The end always comes all of a sudden. No matter that I can see the shoulders coming together, or that there’s only a collar left. To the extent that I’ve knit my hopes into that sweater, I’m often disappointed when it’s done. No sweater I have ever made, no matter how excited about it I have been, no matter how much I have enjoyed the process of knitting it, has solved the problems of my life.
So, too, with Easter. The years when I’ve longed for Easter as a resolution to the tumult, I’ve been disappointed. This year of pandemic, which has seemed an endless Lent in its way, will not resolve itself on Easter. The tomb may be empty, but so will most of our churches. Somehow, I can see the rightness of it all, though. We get to see a different side of Easter this year. An alleluia thrown out on the wind, echoing in the heedless world. This year, resurrection will not be reflected back to most of us in the grand liturgies we cherish. We will have to search for it in the newly budding daffodils, the return of the birdsong, and the quiet channels of our hearts.
I wouldn’t want Easter to be like that every year, but this quieter kind of Easter does have a beauty and an authenticity about it. It encourages us to pay attention more carefully than we might otherwise. To find satisfaction in the small joys that pepper our lives. To wrap ourselves or our loved ones in the latest imperfect and beautiful sweater we have made with our own two hands, a lot of time, and probably not a little frustration. That’s an alleluia I can welcome to my lips.
Project Update: Rows 1-8 Pattern 191 Japanese Stitch Bible