Spring is upon us…
It’s hard to pick a favorite season. In fact, I can’t. Spring, however, has so many pleasures.
To me, the energy is one of rebirth and renewal. It lifts me up, makes we want to get outside and run, to greet my fellow humans and smile and wave a cheery hello without them crossing the street and holding their breath as I pass. (Yes, I’ve experienced this phenomenon several times already in these ‘Covid’ times we’re living — or as my friend’s millennial daughter refers to it, ‘the ‘rona’).
Growing up in a farming community, Spring heralded not just an important seasonal change, but a shift from dark to light in every aspect.
Lambing season was upon us and no one ever tired of seeing newborns on their shaky legs… even though we could barely sleep at night for the bleating, demanding their mother’s milk, that went on until well after dark.
The atmosphere in the village was electrified, and there was a deep, almost-ancient, gratitude for having survived winter, which in those parts and those altitudes was always harsh.
This is the village I grew up in… you can see my white house just above the village to the left.
The village didn’t get electricity until 1956. The elders had endured tough times without realizing the times were indeed considered tough.
So the energy was a special energy around the time of the Spring Equinox. It felt like my body absorbed it from the earth when I walked in the fields. And everyone around just seemed to be happier.
Interestingly, there was a commonly held belief at school that if you didn’t get hitched with a girl around Easter time, you’d struggle all year for it… because girls were so much more friendly toward boys during this time.
In short, it felt like the time of spiritual and energetic connections (as well as hormones).
To be robbed of that energy and forced into splendid isolation at home would have been unthinkable.
We would have refused.
We would have known instinctively that herd immunity is a vital part of survival and that connectivity is healing.
When someone was sick, we didn’t need a central voice to tell us how to behave. We took care of them as a village and a community. We didn’t shut the front door, cross onto the opposite side of the street or hold our breath as we passed each other.
My mum made soups for the sick, and with outstretched arms, which I carried slopping in a bowl to the house or farm where they were needed, like I was handling a live grenade.
We had our fair share of diseases in the 60s and 70s: rubella, chicken pox, legionnaires, tuberculosis, swine flu, and Lassa fever to name just a few. Foot and mouth disease and myxomatosis caused carnage in the economy every few years or so.
We had so many economic crises like the oil crisis, stagflation, the great inflation, the 3-day week, mining strikes and riots.
So many stock crashes.
We had plenty of wars, too: the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, Korea, and Cambodia.
Our climate headlines were the coming of the next ice age.
Instead of switching from fossil fuels to electricity, we were encouraged to give up coal for oil-fired central heating. I remember lying awake at 12 years old worrying about a headline that proclaimed the whole of Europe would be frozen over like Siberia within 100 days.
Life went marching on.
The highlight of Spring was the Easter break, which meant a guaranteed two weeks off school (and probably why I have such fond memories).
We didn’t have restaurants to go to and no one could afford a full tank of petrol, so we just hung out at home, watching TV together and cooking creatively with what little we had. My father drew welfare checks and my mother was ill, but not having much didn’t seem to matter.
It was Spring! Everyone was giddy about it.
My mother would deliberately leave the front door open so any rejected lambs or rabbits could find sanctuary. We had a houseful every year. We also had feral cats who miraculously nurtured them like their own.
I’ve found that America doesn’t celebrate Easter to the same degree as other countries. But, who knows… this year might be the chance for people who are in splendid isolation to do just that.
Parents can help their kids dye and paint designs on eggs and then hide and let them search for them.
(Oh wait… this year this activity may be banned. Banned!)
Maybe on Easter Sunday, the whole family will attend sunrise worship service to celebrate the savior’s resurrection and the renewal of life — everyone looking forward to a succulent ham with all the trimmings.
Sounds like a typical, Christian Easter home, doesn’t it?
This more accurately describes an ancient Babylonian family from 4000 years ago honoring the resurrection of their god, Tammuz.
Actually, our modern Easter celebration has come to us through the Anglo-Saxon fertility rites of the goddess Eostre or Ostara in other cultures. These are all the same religious Spring festivals, separated only by time and culture and given different rebirthing resurrecting heroes depending on the time and agenda.
Given the bumbling antics of our political leaders through this virus, I doubt our ancient heroes need worry about being dethroned.
No matter what the religion, no matter what the time period, this Spring Equinox was recognized as a time of vitality, and in every society, every culture, every tribe, it has to be recognized and celebrated.
It doesn’t matter if you fear losing your job.
Everyone in my village lived paycheck to paycheck. It didn’t stop them smiling or enjoying what is important in life.
It doesn’t matter if centralized idiocy keeps you trapped at home.
We never wanted to leave home during Easter.
In many ways, this so-called crisis (which is the least threatening of just about any I have lived through)… gives you the opportunity to take advantage of a break in routine.
It gives you a chance to go back to the time when all that mattered was stealing a kiss with a girl behind the haystack. I got my first kiss at Easter and it tasted of apple pie and custard.
Hang out with those you love, because you’ve been granted permission to do just that. Take advantage of it. Guilt free.
I spent a large part of the last few days simply walking, gardening, and drinking in all the energy I can. I encourage you not to skip or miss this time.
Scientifically, I can’t prove there’s anything magical about it.
But I feel it…
And it’s short lived. It’s just a matter of a few weeks that the world feels like this.
Many of you are in a place you don’t want to be feeling: fear, because it’s been drilled into you by media headlines.
It’s all too easy to miss this time of renewal because of a crisis.
If you truly want to take control of your lives, please don’t fall into the trap.
Check the weather forecast closely, pick out a half day in the next week when you know it will be somewhat decent outside, and go join nature.
With a bit of mindfulness, aligning with the energy of the Spring Equinox offers you an opportunity to consciously enter the flow of life with grace and ease, trusting and knowing that you don’t have to force new life-affirming growth to happen…
You simply need to be open and available —
And to be in the place where it happens.