I wonder what our ancestors, those original omer counters, the refugees who fled the narrow places and actually witnessed the Signs and Wonders, who were stopped by a Sea and followed a woman with a tambourine, who were afraid and lost faith and were forgiven and were bound, this time to God in the desert, at (maybe under) the mountain - I wonder what our blessed ancestors would think of our more modern practice of counting.
For them (as I imagine it must have been, from my presumptuous and privileged position of 21st century modernity), this time really was a time of fragility, of unknowingness. They faced a huge void of unknown! They'd been slaves for generations. They were dependent on an unseen God, and maybe they remembered their vaunted relationship, but - c'mon, who could blame them if they didn't? Their leader had been a Prince and a shephard - what the hell did he know about leadership, or the wilderness or survival? What would they eat? How would they drink? Where were they going?
How lovely, that, these days, we can go on a spiritual odyssey. We can wrestle with beauty and love and God. We can dream of fragility and plenty and loss. We can put one foot in front of the other, on this journey from slavery to freedom, binding to binding and open ourselves to revelation and light.
But in this time, in this place, on this third day of counting, I can't help but think of those who must journey, those who must flee, those for whom the entire world is fragile and fractured, so that the very ground is unsure and tomorrow is a million miles away.
I think, perhaps, we may still be mired in the Wilderness.
And so we count three.