Many people begin their Easter celebrations on this day. The holiday allows for a few days of reflection on life’s transience as well as on the hope that is needed to navigate through the rougher terrains of human experience. Regardless of faith, and regardless of which political camp we choose to set up our tents in, we are equally affected by the challenge that the new corona virus has placed in our path
Society is a team sport – a fact so easily forgotten in times of peace and prosperity. Now we stand in a situation where some of us are called forth to fight on the front lines. I’m thinking, of course, of those brave souls who are struggling to save lives and of those who have to keep our society’s vital organs functioning.
Others must step back and give space to those who have such important taskt to perform. I think it is an exercise in humility when we realize that our normal way of handling things, through active force, does not work in this situation. In this Terra incognita – “uncharted territory” the majority of us must stay in our homes even though we are itching to do all those things we are so used to be doing. Perhaps refraining from our ordinary comforts requires a special kind of courage.
Easter comes with its double message of sorrow and hope. This year, the intimacy that we usually associate with our holidays, turns to longing. Many have lost a loved one – all of us are prevented from embracing and comforting each other, even though we ache to do just that. In times such as these it is especially important for us, as a society, to practice the humility of “not knowing” and of “not being able”.
But hope can be found in the middle of grief and loneliness! In our peaceful nation we are rarely faced with the hardships of unthinkable catastrophes, which means that the message of Easter becomes something abstract – a few days off work to enjoy good food together with our families. But the holiday symbolizes the joy we hope awaits once we have overcome the challenges.
This year the meaning of Easter comes alive with a rare urgency. In these times the fear, the grief and the loneliness are burdens to be carried with a sense of solidarity, and we, as a community, need to train the muscles of hopes. Many small gestures of kindness, even though they are easy to perform for the individual, may add up to create great change.
The national symbol of Lorenzburg is the tiny dried pea – an insignificant thing, easily dismissed, but within it resides something that is alive and waiting for the right conditions.
This Easter I think of the future, and how we may create those “right conditions” even now. Maybe we get the kind of hope that we deserve? If so there is no time to lose!
Together, regardless if we are in the same room or rely on telephone or computer, we can build those muscles of faith.
Make a phone call, write a letter or shout it from the rooftops: There is hope! Never think that that which seems dried and withered has given up. Life is hiding just beneath the surface, and it is waiting for the better days that surely will come, dare we but believe it.
And with these words my family and I wish you all a Happy Easter.
H.S.H. Prince Frei of Lorenzburg
Le printemps retournera – The spring always returns