Friday, March 29, 2002

Happy Eostre
This is from a pieceabout the origins of Easter.
Spring holidays have been celebrated at least since the beginning of recorded history. They all mark the end of winter when the earth sleeps and the start of the spring session when everything seems to be reborn.

Early people believed that each season was ruled by a certain deity. There was a deity called Eostre, the goddess of spring, who was worshipped in the northern and central parts of Europe. Her name is believed to have come from the word to describe the direction of the sunrise - "east." Some think the word Easter came from the same source. Every spring people in these regions held festivals to honor and thank Eostre. They offered her cakes that are similar to hot cross buns.

Some early tribes believed that things found in nature, such as bodies of water, mountain and trees, had their own spirits. It is believed that the May Day festivals started as a tree worshiping rite. The ancient Druids, a pre-Christian religious sect found mostly in Britain and France, thought that trees, and most especially oak trees, were sacred objects. The Druids prayed to the trees for sunshine, rain, and to make the earth fertile.

Ah. Sychronicity. (See previous post.)
March winds are blowing, but at least it’s not snowing.
It is 65 degrees in Albany, NY today, and I took my mom out for a walk around the building, where we ran into Alice, a lovely woman whom my mother met when she first moved in here. So I left them to sit in the sun together and proceeded to take a more energetic 3-mile walk on my own.

There is a short path through a wooded area that I often like to take to have a least a brief illusion of being away from cement and human structures. I was remembering the secluded house I used to own in the country, set up on a hill where an ancient oak presided in its enduring solidity. In moments of despair or sadness or even boredom, I used to stretch my arms around its trunk (I could barely reach an eighth of the way around), lean my cheek against its weathered bark, and breathe into its essence whatever it was that was keeping me from engaging with the vitality of my life. In those intimate moments with that stoic oak, I understood the reverence that the ancient Druids felt for the divinity inherent in nature.

So on my trek through the woods today I looked for a replacement for my old confidant, and I found one – younger, less imposing, perhaps less divine. I don’t know. But as I stretched my arms around its trunk (I could reach almost half way around) and leaned my cheek into its rough hide, I again felt that mythic connection to its fundamental durability, its elemental link to the very heart of this mother planet. Like the priests at Dodona, I asked for truth. And the March winds continued to blow.
Don't Do It, Burningbird!
Shelley says that she's going to exercise her right to spontaneously combust her weblog. Among other stresses of life, she's intensely job hunting. Lately she's also felt the heat of heavy criticsm over the wires. I hope that she also can feel the heartfelt warmth from those of us who admire her courage to speak truths others don't want to hear, her articulate cybertongue, her fiery heart, and the inspiration she have given us to reach for our own blog potential. For many many of us, to have her leave blogdom is like a death. If she has to leave, for all kinds of reasons, then I hope she knows that we will welcome and celebrate her resurrection when it comes.