“Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore.
The traditions of our childhood help to shape the adults we have become. Aside from the food associated with the holidays were the church services, the hymns, the clothes, and all of the trappings of the seasons. Growing up in Jamaica we had the somber and serious Good Friday morning service, with the mournful hymns sung in minor key. This was balanced by the joyous celebration of Easter Sunday morning, with the promise of good food and if you were lucky, chocolate! And the holiday continued through to no school, no work, Easter Monday.
I have to confess though, to having sympathy for the pagans of Wales (country of my forebears) who worshiped the natural and mysteries of the earth, the movement of the planets, the spring and the harvest. They were minding their own business (like most indigenous people do), paying homage to their gods and goddesses when in swooped the Romans with their formalized, monotheistic church. It tickles me to think that the days we celebrate the birth of Christ, and then the crucifixion and resurrection were chosen to coincide with pagan holidays so as to make it easier to convert the pagans over to Christianity. I love to think that Easter Sunday is chosen each year based on the natural movement of the moon and the Spring Equinox, not some man-made fixed date.
Depending on your denomination, the Easter weekend service may have been short or long. It may have signified the end of your forty-day sacrifice; you could finally enjoy the treat you had given up for Lent. But apart from the simple sacrifices, what other lessons can we learn? If we pattern our life on those who made ultimate sacrifices, how do we make sure that we continue to grow and make permanent changes in our lives?
If good intentions were enough, we could all rest right here. Whether we have decided to be more tolerant, more forgiving, less judgmental, or more generous, it is easy to make a commitment. Less easy to follow through. More action, less talk, is what we need to practice. One of my biggest weaknesses is procrastination. And although I know this, I fall into the same trap over and over. But we are imperfect, and focusing on our imperfections only leads to frustration.
This Good Friday morning, as I am enjoying a long weekend (this is the first employer I have ever had to actually give us a four-day Easter weekend!) I am remembering the cool Chapelton mornings of my childhood. The mist rising up from the valleys, humming birds flitting from flower to flower, dew soaked grass wetting up your church shoes. The town would be so quiet on days like these, only an occasional car coming up Salem Hill. It provided an opportunity for reflection, to think about your own life and choices. Somehow in our life today we no longer seem to be able to find that silence, the way that life paused and allowed you to think about where you were coming from and where you wanted to go.
I wish for you and your family a peaceful and still moment so you can think about what is important in your life. I hope your memories of traditions past bring you smiles and a good feeling to help you jump back on the treadmill of life with renewed energy. I wish you nuff bun and cheese but beyond that, I wish that you can recognize that you have everything you need to live the life you were born to live.
Have a wonderful weekend, Family! May your Easter Weekend be filled with good food, good people, and good intentions that last beyond the weekend.