I tried not to. “I will notice my feasting for ALL of Eastertide and will be glad and rejoice in it!” I declared. To myself.
When I put butter (butter!) on my toast I thought “Mmm, Mmm, Feast Day!” and when I had a gin and tonic on the deck watching the sun set I thought “ahhh, Feast Day!” and when we had a dinner party and someone joshed me about still having Easter decorations up and I said, “that’s ’cause it’s still Easter, buddy!” and I was ALL IN these 50 days of feasting.
Until I wasn’t. Until life kept going and the brilliant white rejoicing of Easter got further away…
I was very ready to transition back to Ordinary Time. When Feasting becomes just eating, it’s time to make it special again.
There’s a chocolate bowl on the office manager’s desk at the church where I work. For most of the year, I don’t even glance at it…but for the season of Easter, I popped 2-3 into my hand on my way out the door – for the ride home, you see. At first this was a gleeful habit. Then it was a mindful habit.
And today, as I was heading home, I looked down and there was chocolate in my hand *and I couldn’t remember taking it*. It had become less than a habit, it had become a default.
I actually gasped out loud. Today is a Fierce Day. I wouldn’t intentionally take chocolate – yet there it was.
I suppose our human minds can’t handle it all the time, the Glory and wonder of God. Creation is all around us, the Holy Spirit is on fire within us, and yet we don’t stagger around with that realization in our day to day. We mindlessly grab the chocolate on our way out the door like it’s no big deal.
My son was reading about Jesus’ temptation in the desert tonight, and he asked me why Jesus had to Fast. I told him that it was His choice, that it was a way to prepare for prayer, to hear God’s voice better, to empty yourself to make room. I told him about when I was at the Judean Desert on my pilgrimage and I expected it to be empty and instead it was wide and open and so full of God I couldn’t take it all in. I said it took that much space to hold just a little piece of God.
Maybe it takes that much space in our practices – our prayer, our time, our eating – to start to taste and see the Feast.
I’m going to use the chocolate bowl next year to try to remember that. Next Eastertide, a daily reminder to notice the Feast, when I begin to take it for granted.