For the first time in 30 years, all three Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—celebrate their spring festivals at the same time.
The coming of spring heralds the coming back to life of dormant things. Dead sticks sprout buds and blooms, the barren earth changes from brown to green, and forest, prairie, plain and park echo with the chirpings and chit-chat of wildlife once more.
If you’re tired of intolerance and hate, experience instead the inclusion and love right in front of your nose: the waves kissing the shore; the affinity between twin lilies in your neighbor’s yard; the perfect fit of the soles of your feet with God’s green earth.
In world religions, spring is the ultimate symbol of rebirth, the triumph of life over death—restoration, revival and resurgence—in a word, resurrection, of that which was thought dead.
Life—living—is a miracle. Science has never adequately explained it, nor will it ever, for life needs no explanation.
The Easter story of resurrection after death has many echoes throughout history and is itself a majestic echo of a theme that likely predates history itself.
Who has not lost a loved one and wished them alive again?
Who has not had one’s hopes dashed and yearned for just one more chance at them?
Who has not been reassured by a kind and caring friend that, after a dark night of despair, things will look better in the morning?
Similarly, the Passover story of liberation from bondage is a reminder that freedom is never a forlorn hope, and that the sense of rebirth that comes from being set free is itself a taste of Heaven.
The Ramadan story of God’s revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad, commemorated by fasting, prayer, and celebration, is a reminder that in a complex and material world, there is still mercy, forgiveness and a second chance to get life right.
And why not? All around us we see Nature putting the lie to death and dismay. Every night is followed by a sunrise. Every winter is followed by a spring. And there’s hardly any of us who cannot, with a good search of memory, dislodge a personal story when all hope was lost, when things looked impossible, yet we were able to pull it off, close the deal, pay the debt, hit the target, secure that yes, prevail against the odds.
Life—living—is a miracle. Science has never adequately explained it, nor will it ever, for life needs no explanation. And life is so all-encompassingly powerful, so ineffably pervasive, that even when time and time again it appears to be cornered, defeated and dead, it somehow, often preposterously but always inevitably, comes back.
And so if the headlines make you blue, if things look hopelessly doomed, and it seems like this time—this time for sure—we’re all goners, put down your cell phone, switch off your internet, go outside and listen to the birds sing. They’re tuned in to the actual news of the day: resurrection, rebirth, and immortality.
There is hope. There is life. There is love.
Take a cleansing breath.
Then look. Experience. Celebrate.