Monday, 5 April 2010

Reflections on Easter

On Easter Sunday, the sun was shining down in Bath and it really felt as if Spring had sprung. The Easter bunny had been and the girls enjoyed an Easter egg hunt around my parents' garden finding a range of little goodies, most of which were not chocolate, for which I was grateful. In fact the two treasures that caught my eye were the Cath Kidson flannels - I have come a long way, as not that long ago I would not have known who CK was - and these cute furry chicks that utter tweep tweep if you hold them in your hand in a certain way. All this activity and the weather led me to thinking what Easter was really about.

From my eldest's perspective - she is almost four - it was all a good excuse to gorge oneself on chocolate for four days solid. It reminded me that Karen and I had just had a conversation the previous day about how one explains Easter to children. When S was proclaiming her view of chocolate and how she was planning to start in on her eggs on Friday, I explained that we did not eat chocolate on Friday because it was the day Jesus died but that people then saw him on Sunday and were so happy that they eat chocolate and other treats. The response was why did Jesus die and I am afraid I did not feel I could go into all that. On Good Friday my eldest then went around the house explaining to anyone who would listen that baby Jesus had died today.
So what is it about. I am delighted that Easter celebrations pre-date Christianity. In fact they are linked to the timing of the Spring Equinox which is why Easter is a moveable feast. The festival is named after Ostara (also known as Eostre), the Teutonic Goddess of Fertility and Springtime. She was seen as the bearer of increased sunlight and responsible for ensuring a good harvest. The giving of Easter eggs is linked to the rituals relating to Ostara to whom gifts of eggs were given.
What is also fascinating is that eggs are the pagan symbol of rebirth. Why because this symbolism fits in so neatly with my own rhythms at this time. On my reflections over the past few days, where I have enjoyed many lovely family meals prepared by different sets of grandparents, I realise this time to relax and switch off was just what I needed. I feel refreshed and invigorated and ready for the challenges and opportunities that await me and those close to me over the next few months. I really hope that Easter has provided you with time to reflect and recharge your batteries and would love to hear about any perspectives that you have had and wish to share this holiday.

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