I hadn’t yet set foot in Zabar’s* as of 4 pm today, the first day of Passover, and yet there were several things I knew for sure:

  1.  They would most assuredly be out of brisket by now.  (Though you could probably score a pint or two of gravy and there would likely be a display of matzah towering from floor to ceiling ready to wipe you out at any moment…)
  2. The line at the bread counter would be nonexistent.
  3. And an old, stooped lady in a gray wool coat would be standing at the prepared foods counter, sharp elbow ready should you even think about trying to cut in front of her.

The hubs is on another business trip tonight and tomorrow, and that means no Seder for me.  Which I’m actually sad about, since we’ve had a cool little three-year Seder-streak using the Haggadah that I (that would be the goy in the relationship) have been lovingly revising and amending each year.

I love traditions and opportunities for spiritual reflection—and Passover is a great one.  The story is inspiring and the message even more so:  liberation is always here for us in this moment, should we choose to reach for it.  This is an especially helpful message for me on days when:

  • My kid refuses to eat the first, second and even third back-up “meals” I’ve offered him.  (Does cheese stick count as a meal in anyone else’s house??)
  • There is spilled milk all over my newly washed jeans (the only pair that fits) and yes, I’m crying a little about it.
  • The straps on my ridiculously expensive stroller have somehow become completely welded together in a particular way that I’m sure will necessitate power tools to disengage.

There’s a little breathing meditation I do on the afternoons I remember to: breathing in: freedom; breathing out:  joy.  Mostly I just really like the idea of being to breathe in freedom.  To me it smells like the first day of school, a clean pillowcase after my mom makes my bed, and a sunset walk along the river in June all rolled into one.

But to be completely honest, tonight if you were to ask me: Why is this night different from all other nights?

I’d have to confess that I ate four coconut macaroons and called it dinner, for a start…

*For those who don’t know, Zabar’s is a food emporium wonderland dedicated to all things old New York-y, and they specialize in Jewish food and items that are importedly delicious.