Updated: Apr 11
“Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life”
– S.D. Gordon
As we write this Easter message, the sun is shining, the garden is springing into life and there is birdsong all around us. This is a perfect time to celebrate new beginnings and rebirth.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the moveable feast of Easter falls soon after the spring equinox and is widely celebrated as a Christian festival across the world. It is accepted by Christians as the time of year where Christ is recognised to have been crucified for the sins of the world, died and risen again. There are many varied rituals both within church and without such as the washing of feet on Maundy Thursday and according to www.learnreligions.com the Easter Sunday Service is typically the most well attended church service of the year. International Easter traditions vary greatly from home-made, high kite flying in Bermuda, to explosive fireworks in carts in Soppio del Carro and to our own familiar traditions of Easter egg hunts, bunnies and the consumption of vast amounts of chocolate!
Easter also perfectly coincides with Passover, the major Jewish spring festival which commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. Traditions abound here too, such as cleaning in preparation, specific, ritualistic feasting and the telling of the Passover story.
Just as it is with Halloween, Easter celebrations may well have their roots in traditions that are much older than the modern religious ones. Throughout history and evidenced by the many artifacts and folk tales left behind, humans have demonstrated their need to celebrate and acknowledge the changing of the seasons or ‘the turning of the wheel’. This has usually involved giving thanks for the fruits but also the lessons of the previous season, whatever they may have been – remembering that although times of abundance can be celebrated with ease, hardship and adversity also offer us immensely rich opportunities to grow strong and to learn the skills needed for survival. As Dr Clarrissa Pinkola Estes points out in her book ‘How to be an Elder’, “young saplings are lovely but untested.” It is the harsh winters, the biting cold and the unrelenting wind that hardens the wood so as to enable the tree to withstand all that the seasons have to offer.
Whatever your beliefs, Spring is the perfect time to evaluate what has been and gone, giving thanks for everything both positive and negative and to look ahead with hope and optimism.
The wheel has turned once more. You are wiser, more experienced and better equipped for the journey ahead now that you have ever been. How will you put the teachings to use?
Whether you have access to grounds or a garden, a back yard, balcony or simply a section of pavement on a busy street outside your office – we always say that if you can use the tools in awkward places with all the distractions of the modern world – you can use them anywhere. According to Neil Young ‘nothing is perfect in God’s perfect plan’ so make use of what you have and offer up gratitude for it.
Remember that whether or not the sun is shining and the world coming into bloom where you are, there is always room to foster the message of Spring, renewal and rebirth in all of our hearts.
Take your awareness to your senses.
What can you see? Are there signs that your part of the world is coming into bloom? Can you see plant shoots or blossom. Are the birds busier than usual, attempting to attract a mate or feather a nest?
What can you hear? Birdsong? Or can you hear the ‘more upbeat than usual’ voices of all who pass by having enjoyed some long awaited and well needed sunshine – at last.
What can you feel? The heat of the sun? Is there a spring breeze with just enough Winter chill remaining in it to render you fully awake?
What can you smell? Spring vegetation? The heady scent of hyacinths? Fresh clean air? Chocolate? Baking?
What can you taste? Can you taste the spring air itself or is your mouth too full of chocolate, festival food or hot cross buns?
Soak in the beautiful sensory delights of the season and offer up gratitude for it all! - the earthly chance to begin again, to start anew, to accept gifts, to learn lessons, to grow strong and fully equipped to withstand storms and to reap the rewards of everything that the beautiful and abundant Earth has to offer you.
Easter Blessings to all of you!
It is all for you if you are willing to receive it!
Let the light in!
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