What do Thanksgiving and Christmas, Purim, and Pesach have in common? Yes, the pairs are sequential holidays that celebrate good stuff but there is more.
Before we even gobble up the turkey and sweet potatoes, stores are tinseled up, streets candy caned and a glittering spruce in every village green. The pilgrims have barely a moment to sip their cider before filling their mugs with eggnog.
Weeks before we costumed up, booed Haman, and passed out mishloach manot, the supermarkets had already piled high, boxes of matzah, jars of gefilte fish, and sacks of coconut marshmallows. We barely had a moment to toss out the stale hamantashen and make an od lo yada lechaim before filling our glasses with Fox's U-Bet and Dr. Brown's Black Cherry.
There is no time to pause from festival to festival. To reflect on special occasions and miracles. To breathe in the seasonal fragrance. To admire the razzle and dazzle. We rush from one to the other, out of breath and spiritually weary.
But this impatience goes beyond holy days. We never live in the now but are always looking beyond. At breakfast, we ponder our dinner menu. Before our ship leaves port we are discussing the next vacation. Watching a glorious sunset we imagine the beauty of a sunrise. We move through life with unhealthy speed, depriving ourselves of the joy found in every moment. As two Talmudic sages taught, "Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last..." Wise counsel from Queens.