Saturday, April 11, 2009

The resurrection of my mood in late winter Wisconsin

My yoga teacher ended class this morning with a rather joyous mention of Easter. An unexpected and fearless reference to go along with my Saturday morning power flow. She acknowledged that whether Christian or not, we all had the opportunity to find a piece of joy associated with such a spiritual weekend for many and coast on its energy in this season of rebirth and renewal for all people.

I immediately thought about my neighbor's snowdrops, the first blooms of spring. They come up almost overnight, a white blanket easily mistaken for snow at this time of year and sometimes indeed covered by actual snow. I know cognitively that the flowers and plants come back each spring, but in my heart, winter takes its pound of flesh annually and there is some insecurity about whether winter will ever end. These blooms and the Ten Commandments--I live for their reappearance each year as true evidence of spring.

We raked away the recently thawed winter leaf cover today and the soil is already opening for the green shoots of my bleeding hearts. Please let them survive late frosts and hungry bunnies.

I have always loved Easter but only as an adult has it become spiritually meaningful for me. Growing up Quaker, Easter Sunday Meeting for Worship and corresponding outfits were just as quiet and Quaker as any other Sunday. Again, I was envious of Catholics during the whole Lenten season, starting with their ashy foreheads and their very public Lenten deprivations, always variations on cake, cookies, candy or cursing. School lunches literally catered to their meatless Fridays, and it all finally culminated in a giant destination wedding weekend of activities: , travel, Friday night services, visiting cousins, aunts and uncles, Easter hats and dresses and brunches after Easter Sunday mass. And every girl wore white ankle socks or pantyhose on Easter--it was a very special day.

Strangely, my mom always bought us new Easter outfits. I can see now that although my Catholic mother had abandoned the church, she hadn't abandoned the Catholic traditions. My sister and I would get dressed up every Easter and parade around the neighborhood waiting for kids to return home from church or relatives' houses so we all could compare outfits. My favorite outfit of all was a cream colored mini skirt with a pink flowered, Peter Pan collared top. I wore it with a white shawl and tan pantyhose with my platform white clogs. I was one of the original hot messes of fashion.

Today, we enjoyed our family Easter traditions of egg dying while watching five hours of Charlton Heston and cooking a ham.

Happy Easter, Happy Spring, Namaste.

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