Sunday, April 8, 2007
I never had friends or acquaintances in the Southern Hemisphere until I began blogging a few months ago. As I looked at Blue Mountain Easter e-cards this morning I realized that they were appropriate only for the Northern Hemisphere, where Easter is equated with spring, and is the gateway to summer.
How can one send “springtime” Easter cards to friends whose autumn has begun, and for whom Easter must be the harbinger of winter?
I learned a long time ago that the people of any country tend to feel that their nation is the center of the world – the most important place there is -- and I thought I had cured myself of that way of thinking until this morning, when I realized how limited I remain. It just never occurred to me that Easter wasn’t always associated with springtime, with renewal, nature’s rebirth.
I would welcome any comments about concepts of Easter from people who live in the part of the world where Easter ushers in winter.
My perception of Easter’s significance has become pagan rather than Christian, and any great importance of the day in my life ended when I was about seven years old. Until then Easter was a very special occasion. My two younger brothers and I looked forward to being unleashed early on Easter morning to look for our respective Easter baskets – which might be hidden anywhere in the living room area. We had previously dyed Easter eggs different colors, and those would be found nestled in odd places. Each little boy found some kind of stuffed animal – usually a rabbit – in his basket, along with a chocolate bunny, chocolate eggs, and jelly beans, all on a soft nest of straw.
Where did Jesus fit into this? Not at all, as far as we children were concerned, until we were dressed up in our best short pants and shirts and forcibly taken off to church to squirm through prayers and a resurrection sermon, looking forward to getting back home to our stuffed animals and the fragrant, baking ham bristling with cloves.
May your Easter – if you have one – be exactly what you want it to be.