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During a blackout, I found calm in an early Passover Seder – Orange County Register

It was just after midnight and I was going to brush my teeth when this happened.

Not that there’s a good time for your house to suddenly be plunged into darkness, but it was serendipitous because I keep an LED lantern on a counter just inside the bathroom door. I pushed the lever up and bathed the sink in light.

Moving carefully down the hallway, I aimed the light at the floor so I could see the path to my office, hoping that the computer had magically escaped the power outage and the piece I what I wrote had not been lost. It’s funny how my mind sometimes allows the impossible to become possible. The screen was as dark as the rest of the house.

Sitting at my desk, my mind flashed back to the power outage in New York when the residents of my building were crowded into the lobby, sipping martinis provided by the editor-in-chief of Random House who lived downstairs. I remembered the warmth of the candles glowing from its open door casting a calming ambiance into the darkness.

With this image in mind, I picked up the lantern and carefully navigated to the dining room where my grandmother’s brass candlesticks sit on my sideboard. I put a candle in each of the four, and as I lit them, I felt the warmth of the glow as they had burned in Grandma Sarah’s small apartment in the Bronx.

Since it was so close to Passover, I had matzoh at home, which I brought to the table. Grateful for my gas stove, I boiled water to make tea, which I sipped from a glass in honor of my Russian Jewish grandmother.

I brought my little feast to the dining room table where I would be serving a Seder meal in just a few days. But that evening, alone at the table, I was grateful for the unexpected darkness that had first made me anxious, but now brought me calm…and a first piece of matzoh.

E-mail patriciabunin@sbcglobal.net. Visit her on X @patriciabunin and on patriciabunin.com

California Daily Newspapers

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