Monday, March 25, 2013


When I was growing up, one of the (few) days on the church calendar that made any sense to me was Palm Sunday – and maybe not so much that it made sense, as that it made me happy to be at church that day.

I suspect what I liked was the fact that Palm Sunday was the day we received a swath of palm leaf. Although only a small token, that dried bit of palm felt like a gift – the single day at church when, instead of just throwing coins into a basket, we got something back.

I came to associate the day with things changing, going forward. It may have been Palm Sunday when my parents decided to buy the house they’d been considering. I think I met one of my best boyfriends that day. Silliness perhaps, but a person seeking direction is alert to points that may be worth marking.

Yesterday was this year’s Palm Sunday, and though I can’t say I noticed any big shift going on in my life, I did discover some beautiful palms. I bet they’re the same variety that would have been blessed and distributed had I still been someone who believed in going to church.

As with so many religious observances, when it comes to Palm Sunday there’s some crossover in the events of origin. Jesus, who was a Jew (a fact that some Christians may find heretical) was riding a donkey into Jerusalem as he was preparing to celebrate Passover.
He was greeted by people laying palms along the ground. And today – at least in Canadian time zones – is the first day of Passover.

Even though I don’t follow any particular religion anymore, it’s clear that those early lessons were imprinted, as some of those early-learned stories appear now and then in one of my poems.

Whether this is the week when you observe rituals associated with Holy Week (pre-Easter) or Passover, or simply the changing of the seasons, may it be a time when you can hold your own palm open to whatever lies ahead.

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