It Would Have Been Enough

Moosilauke looms. Or beckons.

Moosilauke looms. Or beckons.

Slept in till 4:30, putting me behind schedule for Insanity's Max Interval Plyo--lots and lots of push-ups. I was out late (till 8:00!), going  with Dorothy to her church last night for a seder, the Jewish Passover feast. Episcopalians do a seder to remind themselves of the Old Testament and to feel ecumenical.

Judaism, seen through the eyes of Episcopalians, is a religion of low expectations and extremely delayed gratification. At the point in the ceremony when a child is sent to the door to see if Elijah was there, a bunch of kids followed her as if they hoped to see Santa. The kid walked back. "Nobody," she said. The littler kids slumped into their chairs. 

Earlier, though, we shouted "Dayenu!" 15 times. The word means "It would have been enough for us." If God had just brought us out of Egypt. Dayenu!  If he had only fed us manna. Dayenu!  Don't you wish you could train your kids to say that? "Lima beans--that would have been enough. But tofu burgers, too! Oh, my!"

It occurred to me: That's the perfect attitude for any quest, whether it's finding the promised land or breaking the Time Barrier. 

Years ago, when my kids were young, I found myself sitting on the bottom of a river below Class IV rapids, held down by powerful hydraulics. I'd done something stupid with a canoe. I remember sitting there, figuring this was the end, and thinking, "You idiot!" I wasn't ready. Not just ready to die but ready to say, "It would have been enough."

But I can say that now. Just to see the summit of Mount Moosilauke once: that would have been enough. To see it dozens of times: that would have been enough. To be able to hike at all: Dayenu. To trail run: Dayneu. To think I actually can run my age up Moosilauke: Well! That's exactly why I should try.

When my parents died, they were four years older than I am. I figure to live as long as they did would be enough. To live longer, Dayenu. But the length of life isn't really it. Put it this way: Which would you rather have: A long day, or a full day? Which would you rather say when you're falling off that cliff or sitting at the bottom of that river: I've had a long life, or I've had a full one?