Some Bunny Loves EasterPosted: March 23, 2013
At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon, I’m not a big fan of holidays.
To me, the word “holiday” should be that which describes me riding Space Mountain at Walt Disney World, followed by eating an ice cream Mickey, followed by a late afternoon swim in a cute themed pool, followed by the fish at Wolfgang Puck’s.
But no, holidays have come to mean cleaning the house to the point that surgery could be performed on my bathroom floor and cooking a large meal while relatives vie with each other to see who can filibuster the conversation, in voices that surpass a comfortable decibel level. My love and I have hosted plenty of those kinds of holidays, but no more. Last year, we turned what had been a cavernous formal dining room that we used three days a year into seed’s offices. I’m keeping quiet about the fact that when the full extension is employed, my kitchen table could comfortably seat the entire cast of extras in The Ten Commandments.
Admittedly Christmas has been a sore spot with me since my third year classical philosophy class, where I learned how the early church fathers smacked together celebrations for Winter Solstice and Saturnalia with sketchy information about the birth of Christ to get the pagans to sign on. Talk about bait and switch.
But I really like Easter. It’s my favourite of the “holy day” holidays. Christmas is the last chance to get festive before the cold and snow arrives but Easter is the harbinger of spring. And it’s easy. Throw some gold foiled Lindt bunnies beside dinner plates and you have your shopping (and wrapping) done. No tree. No lights pulling the paint off the window sills. No mind-numbing songs. Nothing but tulips and bunnies and very often, sunshine.
I love my memories of childhood Easters, crawling around the “good” living room looking for bunnies and eggs under the couch, freezing in knee socks because you HAD to wear your new spring outfit to Easter Sunday service. I think I still have marks under my chin from the elastic that held my sailor hat in place and was fondly snapped by Sunday school friends.
But mostly I love that this holiest of holidays is named for a Germanic pagan goddess, Ostarâ or Eástr, depending on your view of the original Saxon. She was the goddess of fertility and rebirth, whose cult had probably long died off long before the beginnings of the Christian Easter. Still the name remains. And if it happens to sound familiar, it’s also the roots of the female hormone I have a vague memory of producing.
Easter comes at a time when the world is getting its mojo back. The sun is starting to feel warm, sometimes you catch a faint whiff of grass or mud, the birds are singing louder and that sense of change and potential is almost tangible. Easter announces all of that.
So I’ll be getting ready for my favourite holiday by piping no-bake vanilla cheesecake into chocolate dipped strawberries – and making a bunny cake out of two regular round layer cakes—the only artistic cake decorating project I can pull off. I’ll be clearing space in my drawers and closet for warm weather clothes and studying the seed catalogues for the garden. I may even hum a few bars of “Here Comes Peter Cottontail,” that enduring Easter carol.
Mostly, I’ll just be awaiting the much needed renewal it brings.