I like holidays named for what they really are. Today is a Good Friday. I was born on Good Friday, but that year it was also the 1st of April, and I’m sure that more than a few people have suspected that I was a practical joke. I’m better with jokes now, but for a long time I refused to laugh.
But, Good Friday. I’ve only been aware of one year that my birthday fell on its original day, and the 1st of April was Good Friday again. I was 6. I’ve just found an explanation online:
“In these years when Easter was on April 3, Good Friday was April 1: 1763, 1768, 1774, 1825, 1831, 1836, 1904, 1983, 1988, 1994; next time will be 2067.”
I’ll be 79.
I remember celebrating my birthday on Good Friday once though, and I thought I was older than 6. I was somewhere in the range of 10 – 13, I think. It might have been ’99, when I was 11. Good Friday fell on the 2nd of April, so my birthday was the day before. We were in NYC at my Aunt Georgia’s house, and she made me a strawberry cheesecake with fresh strawberries. For about seven years around that time, I always celebrated my birthday with strawberry cheesecake. I don’t remember why I stopped.
I do love Good Friday. Most people have the day off work, and it feels like a day of reflection. We lay on the kitchen floor this morning after breakfast, in the space where the sun fell on the floor, Bloom in her paper bag from the bakery. She let Andrew carry her around like she was in a briefcase. He jokingly said, “Okay, honey, I’m off to work now!” He also noted, isn’t it strange that the only way Bloom will sit anywhere near us is if we put her in a bag?
It’s true. This cat is a funny one. Sometimes I think she exists in the gap between worlds.
Rachel, I hope Anne doesn’t mind that I’m borrowing her beautiful words to reflect on Good Friday. I wish I had been reading all of her Meditations for Lent.
Wilderness Yearning: Good Friday
In his hands are the caverns of the earth
and the heights of the hills are his also.Psalm 95:4I crave the silence this morning. If I could, I would step out of my house and walk into the desert. Walk until I have left all behind. Walk until I am enveloped in complete solitude. Walk until I am so weary I have no choice but to let go of all the anger and fear and doubt and shame that shadow my days.I want to enter the raging storm, the whirlwind, the turmoil. I yearn to submit to the fiercely blown sand of the desert that obscures the sun and rips flesh to shreds. To follow the vortex to the depths of human anguish. And there to meet my savior. To discover and hold fast to the truth that nowhere is beyond God.And then to ask for the wild sands to cleanse me.– Anne Kitch
We’re off for a walk down by the river. And lunch somewhere. And then the afternoon will come through as it shapes itself, as we shape it.