I’m no Christian, but they tried to make me one – hell, someone tried to make me one last week, via Facebook!! Ambitious bunch…
So I’m familiar with the tale. I am a sucker for religious symbolism. I find a lot of it true, or true enough. The spring festival known to Christians as Easter (or Pasqua, Pasko, Ostern, whatever) is one of the nicest. Because at its heart, it’s celebrating rebirth, right? The return of life, in all its greens and yellows and pinks and purples, to the northern climes, when the sun comes back, with all its countless gifts – it’s something to celebrate, isn’t it?
I even saw a little bunny on the bike trail yesterday – it didn’t have any eggs with it, and sadly, it was not made out of chocolate. But I took it as a good sign, nonetheless.
It’s funny (and to my mind, encouraging) that Christianity, especially in the U.S., has re-embraced the natural world for its Easter celebrations, with eggs and rabbits and other symbols of, well, sex. (God, I miss sex. But that’s another post.)
I’ll take nature images over the image of a young, guiltless young Jewish man nailed – nailed – to a cross and left to die – anytime. I mean, I get the whole rebirth thing in the crucifixion and resurrection, it’s very compelling, very dramatic, very human. That vision was a very important step, psychologically, in the development of Western Civilization. Much appreciated.
Still, I’m down more with the spring-has-sprung, let’s-get-it-on aspects, and that’s what I focus on. The dying-horribly part of Easter has always seemed misplaced, calendar wise – shouldn’t that be more around December 21?
But OK, fine: Religion isn’t precise, and I’m fine with that. It’s all been cobbled together, catch-as-catch-can, over the millennia, long before the Christians took a shot at it. Humans have been wondering at the miracle of spring for…ever, probably. And no wonder! Every day, I leave my windowless attic, after a day of staring at a computer screen, under florescent lights, and am gob-smacked by the sheer beauty of gliding through green, green, GREEN under a sky of blue, blue, BLUE (and intermittent fluffy white), with sights caught of deer and geese and dogs and meadowlarks and turtles and herons and rabbits and cranes and butterflies and…people.
Even though the people are basically killing, eating, crapping on or otherwise destroying everything else (that’s how this virus got out of hand, after all), we are a lovely species, are we not? People on bikes and out running are beautiful, parents corralling their children are beautiful, and the children themselves, well…
It’s all enough to give one a sense of hope. And hope is to be celebrated at any time, and particularly right now. Gratitude is always in season, and when better to see it everywhere?
Happy spring, everyone.