Getting back to normal

Our hearts are still heavy with memories of 9/11 terrorism as we prepare for Easter, a season of hope and renewal.

As we prepared the Herald’s annual list of Easter church services and egg hunts, it has begun to feel like life is once again returning to normal, as normal as it ever can be when the events of Sept. 11 are still so fresh in our memories.

For awhile, it seemed like life would be forever changed. We noticed when an airplane flew overhead. We prayed for our neighbors assigned to combat duty in Afghanistan. We were careful opening our mail and took six kinds of ID to Seatac and willingly stood in endless lines.

Today, the possibility of terrorism seems increasingly remote. This isn’t too say that we should ignore the possibility of additional incidents of terror, but that they are not our first waking thought. We remain alert and vigilant, but not as frightened as we were in the first days of this new era.

The Easter season, with its message of resurrection and renewal, seems to come just in time for us this year.

Easter traditions have roots in two ancient cultures: one Judeo Christian and the other pagan. The Christian celebration of Easter is linked to the Jewish celebration of Passover. Both Christians and pagans have celebrated death and resurrection themes following the Spring Equinox for millennia.

And so it is with us this year. As a community, we successfully blend a holy season with chocolate bunnies. Easter egg hunts, sunrise services and family dinners mingle traditions.

But this year, our hearts still heavy with memories of death and destruction, the promise of Easter renewal and new beginnings carries even more meaning.

In slightly more than six months, we have learned that life can return to normal. But we have also learned never to take normal for granted.