The memories remain, and I struggle each year with maintaining my equilibrium through lent -- generally by trying to stay clear of the whole business. Early imprinting is a tough thing to overcome though, and if I do not DO lent, I feel BAD about doing Easter.
This year, this day feels like an absolute celebration of new life sprung from the darkness. This year, the coming of longer days and bright blossoms and budding greenery feels like a release from months of darkness and fear. This year the feasting will be a feasting in the heart and in the spirit -- beyond the feasting that adorns our table. This year, oh this year, the coming of spring feels like a pure miracle. Reason indeed to shout for joy.
So. I have avoided the gloominess of lent. I am reclaiming the joy of the spring, and I am welcoming the return of light and beauty. This is a season of fertility and new birth and life springing forth. It has nothing at all to do with the tired religion that usurped the rites and celebrations of those who were there before. It is about living in accord with the life that is, with the world that is, with the universe that enfolds us -- that is us.
We are born again. Through all the darkness of our own private winter, we are standing fresh and new and alive in the light of this day. That needs no fancy dressing. It is reason enough to celebrate. And so we herons offer a glad "Happy Easter" to all our friends.