Growing up my family celebrated Easter twice a year. One was a WASPy amalgam of ham, Cadbury eggs, and the Easter bunny. It didn't occur to me the absolute lunacy of a human sized rabbit breaking into my house at night and eating half a carrot and sugar cookies. Or maybe it did, but I suspended my disbelief for the day-glo Peeps and plastic woven drugstore baskets teeming with equally not-biodegradable synthetic grass left in it's wake. In retrospect, breaking and entering is a common theme of Christian holidays.
The second, usually the following week, was a Byzantine blend of lamb stew, eggs dyed a uniform deep crimson and sweet loaves of braided bread with a lucky coin inside. This always struck me as dangerous. We pulled out the big dining room table for these affairs to accommodate the massive meal. And of course, all the Greeks and an equally colossal set of personalities; two Yia Yias (grandmothers), a Thea (aunt), uncles and cousins. Competing conversations, which inevitably devolved into screaming matches, were held in Greek and English over spanokopita, lamb, pilafi, and of course Greek salad. I marvel at my mother's ability to cook such an "ethnic" feast- one not native to her New Hampshire Episcopalian upbringing. My job was to arrange the fruit bowl, which I made a painstaking task, naturally.
Neither had anything to do with Jesus.
I knew that essentially the holiday had to do with a dead guy rising from the dead and, after repeated questioning of what the hell that meant, let the subject drop.
"It's a metaphor, Elizabeth."
20 years later, I celebrate another metaphor, Pesach. It makes sense for me. No questioning is dropped. My brother, the father, Adam, who is studying to be priest in Peru, is in his busy season. And as different as he and I are, we do share a love of Jewish men (albeit from different millenniums).
My journey was inspired by a man, without question, but it is the tradition itself that has sustained it. It takes something more powerful than affection to attempt to learn Hebrew. As for my brother, I admit, I don't get it. I'd blame it on my parents, but at 30 years old the statute of limitations on bad parenting is decidedly up.
But we do share the experience, nonetheless, of those dual Easters of childhood. And admittedly, where I do not miss the esoteric metaphor of Ressurection, I feel sad that he and I have so little now in common.