Easter is a time of bizarre contrast. On the one hand, there is the religious ceremony attached to the most holy day of the Christian year, and on the other we have chocolate eggs or Easter bunnies.
While Anglican churches are packed for Christmas, because everyone likes to sing carols and Christmas is feel good factor, Easter is different and to me, a totally different religious festival.
I wouldn’t have known it was The Biggest Day of the Christian year, had my mother – who quite liked religion – not informed me.
I’ve done my bit in the past for Easter though. One year, we were staying in the caravan and decided to go to a nearby minster for Easter Sunday.
Howden is quite spectacular – link to lots of images, rather than choosing one or going through the attribution and all that.
Given that my mother had stopped going to church after she got married, my father was Methodist and really didn’t give two hoots about it, and I was agnostic/atheist, I have no idea why we went.
Anyway, we arrived in Howden early and mummy and daddy decided to do something and I cleared off on my own, agreeing to meet up at the minster.
I spent a long time looking in the windows of the book shop, the posh clothes shop, and anything else that took my interest. There wasn’t too much to do, given that it was a Sunday. I rushed back to church and discovered it was serious procession time being led by the bishop.
Not sure whether I preceded the episcopal procession or followed in the rear but I made rather more of an impact than I intended. I was of course, dressed in the wrong colours. Purple would have been fine for the previous week but by Easter Sunday it was past its sell-by date and I should have been dressed in white and gold.
I’ve never been to church at Easter again.
But at a time when the Christian part of the world is celebrating, well, whatever it is they do celebrate, the resurrection? rebirth of life? if that happens to be your religion, I think it should be treated as a solemn and meaningful period. Eggs and bunnies seem to trivialise it to me.
As I’m not religious, I’d like to look at something different. Although there may be a parallel with the life of Jesus.
Because I don’t really think he was into consumerism.
I’m not going to do a clever religious analysis basically, because, I just don’t believe in Jesus.
However, following on from the idea that he was egalitarian and wanted people to look after each other, would he really have wanted to see this greedy grasping avaricious aggressive society?
That is, basically, trying to push everyone else down and climb higher up the ladder and shag the planet in the arse we live on as well? Who cares about global warming (it’s not true, it’s not really happening). Or, if it is happening, we can use it to raise taxes and legislate rather than do anything constructive. Who cares about wars and daily abuse of people and animals? Who cares about extinction of animals and environment?
Never captured better than by the Aussie band Redgum. It doesn’t matter to me.
But if looking after your world does matter, and you want to do something, for example don’t keep buying a new iPhone/iPad because the last one is now out of date. Do you really need new software or new computers all the time if yours works perfectly well? [Insert other electrical goods, cars, clothes, furniture etc]
The forager found a few treats recently.
First up, a bread bin, kindly thrown out in its box. As we get food moths here in summer this was a valuable acquisition.
Next, a toilet roll holder. Actually he thought it was a towel rail thing, but we finally worked out what it was. I quite like this and saves toilet rolls getting wet when I throw water all over the sink which is where they previously lived on the marble top.
Some wood. Hmm, who would be interested in some scrap MDF? Partner. Some of our residents had pointed out there was a hole in the downstairs wall of the corridor with live wires and it was both unsightly and hazardous. Box made up quickly at low cost to our block and fitted into place.
A rather tidy paint scuttle that was sitting outside the block. Perfect for a professional painter.
How about some extension lead from a redundant vacuum cleaner?
Or some poles/handles for sweeping brushes or mops?
A couple of radio CD/cassette recorders.
And today a wooden blind. Not that we need a wooden blind, but he is incapable of leaving something that looks useful. Looks like someone had yanked on the string too hard, and couldn’t fix it, but with a little attention from He Of The Golden Touch, it is ready to go up. Just need to decide which window. Kitchen or bedroom?
Not much in the scheme of things but they were all serviceable so why not take them?
One day, he was looking out of the window.
‘Look at that, Spaniards are as bad as Moroccans, always raiding the bins.’
What he really meant was: ‘Shit, someone else has got there before me.’
But to be serious, I would never ever have taken cast-off second-hand goods. I didn’t need to. I had enough money. I didn’t need to accept charity, because that’s how I was taught to think.
Now, I advertise anything I can’t use on Freecycle, I’ve even sold a couple of things via Friday Ads, and I have an expert
scavenger forager. Unless he is beaten to it by the Spaniards or the Moroccans of course.
So my very simple Easter message in a world of ever-decreasing natural resources, greed, and consumption, is please – consume less. If you have anything you don’t want, try to give it away if you can’t sell it.
In the spirit of generosity, last Christmas, I bought a flowering cactus for my neighbour. But it looked rather sorry for itself so I decided to leave it in the flat and see if it flowered. It never did. (Top tip, don’t buy plants from Eroski in Gib). I had visions of this miserable plant fading away miserably in her house and getting thrown out.
So although it had flower buds at Christmas they just died off. Now, for Easter, it is coming into bloom, courtesy of the Cactus Loving Partner. In Spanish, Pascua can refer to either Christmas or Easter. So I reckon this wasn’t a Christmas cactus after all, it was an Easter one.
What I love about Easter cacti, is that they know without looking at calendars exactly when Easter falls. Which just goes to prove that the spring equinox, full moons and seasonal cycles are more important than dates.
Apparently back in 1928, the UK passed the Easter Act which allowed for setting Easter as a fixed date, ie the second week in April. I like changeable dates. And as the whole point of Easter is to commemorate rebirth and new life, it seems appropriate that it should be in tune with our natural environment that we rely on for our very survival.
And if my little cactus didn’t quite bloom on Easter Sunday, it has the next fifty days of Eastertide in which to flower.
If you celebrate either Easter or Passover, hope you enjoyed it. If you don’t celebrate either, hope you enjoyed the holiday.