Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter musings

The Easter bichon guarding his turf! © 2010 Rob Dunlavey
Easter! What's it all about?
Some people like this Christian holy day because of the symbolic enshrinement of Hope and Redemption in the resurrection of Christ. I can get on board with this basic attitude: we all need hope and the knowledge that we are not damned by even our most serious transgressions in life. But, for me, the truth is that I do not worry too much about this. Perhaps one day I'll figure it out.

And I do like Easter. However, unlike Christmas, it's kind of a grownup's holiday. Christmas is magical: like staying up past your bedtime and then the early morning tip-toeing and the almost impossible anticipation of the gifts. Easter, on the other hand, is sober and clean-washed. For a kid it's about the morning but no middle-of-the-night wondering about sugarplums (what are they?) and hooves clattering and, just how does that fat man get down the chimney. Easter is an adult mystery and so much of being an adult is mysterious and boring to children. Easter doesn't have the legs that Christmas does (and you don't get out of school for any appreciable length of time so that clinches it's second-fiddle status!)

But, let's give credit to the older wisdom that girds Easter. These are the ancient and obvious traditions that make Easter palatable and fun for children (old and young alike).  It's a Northern hemisphere thing okay? We've just had winter for months and now spring has sprung and new life burgeons around us in the mud and rocky crevices of the place we've outlasted winter. It's amazing that despite those images of the Earth spinning, rising and setting (like clockwork) and university libraries filled with calculations on the predictability of it all, we long for that first crocus. We thrill at the sound of frogs and birds chorusing. We pin all our hope on an imaginative tale of an empty tomb. Martyrs will come and go but Nature abides and perhaps wiser heads have prevailed after all: they've created sap from sacrificial blood.
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