Warm Up to Passover

During the beginning of Nissan, I participated in #ExodusGram, a creation of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer who also created BlogElul.

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Instead of blogging, I posted a photo each day to Instagram. Now that all 14 days are done, I thought I'd post the whole series here.

 Nisan 1 -  Believe

Nisan 1 - Believe

He calls it his "Baruch Atah Adonai" book, and likes to sit next to me. For me, belief is really about experience, and I delight in his early experiences of the holy.

 Nisan 2 -  Tell

Nisan 2 - Tell

My Nana wrote a most beloved Haggadah (Hebrew "to tell") that we used at our Passover seders when I was a girl. We still use much of the text from her Haggadah, and each year I appreciate her telling all the more. In the photo used above, she and I were celebrating our joint birthdays in May 1992 (hers four days before mine).

 Nisan 3 -  Enslave

Nisan 3 - Enslave

It was difficult to find an image for enslave, but one from my year of collages did seem to fit the bills. It is an attempt to portray that thin line between enslavement and liberation, between bound and free.

 Nisan 4 -  Free

Nisan 4 - Free

One of the joys of hanging out with a toddler is that I get to stand by while he feels free to explore his world.

 Nisan 5 - Prepare

Nisan 5 - Prepare

The first step in preparing the Omer books was printing them all out.

 Nisan 6 - Clean

Nisan 6 - Clean

A sink full of dishes and a silverware drawer full of schmutz and chometz. It is so satisfying to pause and appreciate getting it all clean, before we start the cycle all over again!

 Nisan 7 -  Bless

Nisan 7 - Bless

Scilla is one of my favorite flowers. At my grandmother's house, a whole carpet of scilla would bloom around her April 14th birthday. In her memory, we have a few little ones that come up by our house now. As they help welcome spring, I often feel stirred to bless the Source of Life.

 Nisan 8 -  Learn

Nisan 8 - Learn

Our toddler is learning at a breakneck speed these days. He found a Hebrew Picture Dictionary on our bookshelves, and immediately asked for the bulldozer. I have learned so much about trucks of all varieties from my boys, and now I know that the Hebrew word for bulldozer is dakhpoor.

 Nisan 9 -  Ask

Nisan 9 - Ask

During my weekly walk at Caratunk, I played Poohsticks while asking, "What would it be like to be liberated from _____?" I tossed many sticks into the stream each as I asked about each of the places where I feel stuck. None of the sticks made it to the other side of the stream. Finally, I broke a stick into smaller pieces, and the littlest one made it to the other side.

 Nisan 10  -  Leave

Nisan 10  - Leave

I took this photo on March 24, when the last of the snow was melting. I thought the pattern of melting and the light in the hole was really remarkable, and I had regretted not posting it to Instagram. Very quickly snow seemed entirely out of date, but the Leave theme gave me one last chance to revisit winter before moving all the way into spring.

 Nisan 11 -  Count

Nisan 11 - Count

On this day, I mailed out 7 books to friends. How fitting, since the Counting of the Omer lasts 49 days, 7 weeks of 7 days each. 

 Nisan 12 -  Redeem

Nisan 12 - Redeem

How could I resist these first magnolia blossoms? For me, beauty has a power to redeem that always fills me with awe.

 Nisan 13 -  Change

Nisan 13 - Change

Every year in March and April, my father lights great bonfires to burn the brush, the invasive exotic plants that he removed from the land during the previous fall and winter. Fire transforms, changing huge piles of brush into ashes, and yet this yearly ritual has a timeless quality, especially as I look through the smoke at my father in his cap.

 Nisan 14 -  Be

Nisan 14 - Be

There is something about this duck, and the ripples it creates, that encourages me to be with what is.