I was telling a dear friend that last year, while still in the States, my husband and I found ourselves in WalMart just before Easter. Along with the rabbits and chicks and eggs, we stumbled across chocolate crosses. No matter your religious views, I can't imagine anyone would not find this offensive. As my friend said, "What next, a Jesus on the cross made out of Smarties (M&Ms)?" What next indeed? The commercialism of Easter has taken away from what it truly symbolises - life! Life coming from apparent death; life vanquishing the darkness. That, to quote Jurassic Park, "Life finds a way."
It was not until I made a point of learning more about Celtic paganism and paganism in general that I discovered the "cross over" that happens during the major festivals in both Christianity and paganism. The symbology of holidays make more sense now. But whether Christian or pagan, spring is a time of celebration. We all made it through the winter and flowers bloom and trees put on their coats of green. One of my favourite passages from the Bible comes from St. Matthew and the Sermon on the Mount (or what I like to call "How to be a Good Person 101"). Here is my favourite passage, 6:28-30:
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
And so, I look out at the unfurling leaves of the trees and the blooming flowers in the garden and planters and feel quite sure that, no matter what, everything is going to be all right. And it will be. For whatever our beliefs are, our deity will not let any harm come to us as long we believe. As long as we believe in the continuity of life, the natural laws and apparent miracles that bring us flowers and green grass in the spring, we will be part of that circle of life.
Hall thee, festival day...