Aquinnah: On the hunt for Easter eggs

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Thank you to Jamie Spears Vanderhoop who had the brilliant idea of organizing a “social distancing” egg hunt. The parents and kids of Aquinnah decorated large paper pictures of Easter eggs and posted them around town. They then created clues so that people could find them. For example, “If you are craving the most delicious piece of pie, you might visit this house on State Rd.” The answer was: Anne Vanderhoop’s house. It was fun to figure out the clues and drive around and see all the eggs. Thank you to everyone who helped with this unique Easter event.

As it was Easter, this usually means that an enormous egg hunt and celebration is held at the Duck Inn. As we are all staying at home and social distancing, this annual rite of spring in Aquinnah did not happen. Pam Glavin helped to put together an Easter basket for Elise LeBovit as a commemoration and a thank you for all the Easters she has hosted. It made me truly sad that I was not at the Duck Inn eating cake around the dining room table with all my neighbors this year but hopefully we will all be there next year.

Happy birthday to Carole Vandal who celebrates on Thursday, April 16, which would ordinarily be the day after taxes are due but not this year! So, you can really cut loose Carole.

There are times when I am drawn up short by the amount of privilege that I have and the wealth of resources available to me; this current pandemic is one of these times. So far, my family has been able to do everything that has been asked of us during this crisis to maintain our own health and safety and that of others. We can shelter in place because we have a home, we can limit our exposure to others because I can work from home and we have enough resources, like money and a car, to plan ahead and get supplies weekly. For so many people gravely affected by the pandemic right now, that is simply not the case. Shelter, food, money, privacy, Internet, running water, reliable transportation, safety, access to health care; the communities and populations that lack any or all of these things are bearing the brunt of Covid-19 with more fatalities than richer, whiter communities.  

The simultaneous holidays of Easter and Passover this past week highlighted the disparities from a spiritual perspective. I am not a church-going person, but I do like a feast with a purpose or story behind it, and I found myself drawn to the stories of both holidays this year in a way that I have not been before. The story of Passover includes plagues, a tyrannical ruler, homelessness and racism (among other topics), all issues that are still alive and thriving today. You could update the story with modern names and places, and it would be the story of what is happening now in various parts of the world. While I have been able to identify with the story from a world perspective, I found it much more personal this year. This year I truly felt the Angel of Death “pass over” my family. I felt a profound sense of gratitude for our health and safety that I had not in years past.

While I know many people, who are affected by this current plague and some who have died from it, I am not, on the whole, suffering. I am anxious and scared at times, but I am not suffering. Other people, however, are suffering a great deal and not just from Covid-19 but Covid-19 mixed with poverty, marginalization, and/or racism. That seems like too much to ask a group of people, a community, to bear, the suffering should be more equally distributed amongst all of us. I don’t think that anyone is dying for my sins in a traditional Christian sense, but I do think that people are dying because of my sins and the sins of our society. Sins like greed, racism, indifference, and fear that are deeply rooted in our culture are now flowering in a new and deadly way that makes me question if civilization is any good at all if it leaves out so many.

And how will we be reborn when all of this is over? Who will be here and how will we be changed? How will we tell the story and when? What will the meal consist of and what show will we binge watch every year to commemorate the plague of 2020? Will we all wear pajamas? Will it be held on Zoom? Who will be included in the celebration? It better be all of us, not just those who were passed over.