I woke up this morning around 9, after kicking the cats out around 7. I planned to get on the computer right away to type out notes about my fables and local history, finish the editing for Morbidity, and type up a blog post for a poetry piece from the past. In my bullet journal, I have grocery shopping and the library, both I can’t do tomorrow because of Easter Sunday. At the library, I have books waiting for me that I asked for from other libraries, research on Ancient Mayans for Aylomerna, some children’s horror fiction, a book about this region’s plants for the fables.
But first, a little visit to Facebook for some morning news. Before I was even two stories in I saw that the much anticipated baby giraffe at Animal Adventure Park had been born! Cancel everything! The baby is here!! It’s an Easter Holidays miracle!
I watched the videos the crew posted on Facebook, then went back and watched a recorded version of the live feed to get a different angle. After witnessing it all, it made me start making connections to what I feel is holy about Spring, and it isn’t the cruci-fiction of Christ, although I truly appreciate the time off from my day job for the Easter Holidays. I immediately told myself I don’t want to get into religion or politics on the blog, but I never learn this lesson. Sorry.
There are memories of church signs with movable letters spelling out HE IS RISEN! It was similar to the bulky cut out letters on school bulletin boards declaring SPRING HAS SPRUNG! There were flowers and chicks and bunnies, I had to peel out the chocolate eggs from their foil wrappers, I threw up in the back of the station wagon from eating too many jellybeans. The Sunday school I went to when I visited my grandparents didn’t mention the torture and murder of their religious leader, or the blood of lambs as a metaphor, or how they made his death suit their beliefs instead of admitting defeat.
I’ve always been curious about all the religions in the world, once I found out there was a choice. The church and the summer bible camp, my Godmother giving me Max Lucado books, they tried to make me a Christian but I wasn’t. I am in tune with Nature and the Universe, I seek Truth.
I taught a few practicums in Catholic School while I was a student teacher and when I started out as a sub. I would attend mass, arms crossed across my chest to signify my unholiness until the Eucharistic minister would trace a cross on my face and declare me blessed by God. I would cry during the songs. I wanted to believe that there was a loving force directing your fate, but I couldn’t name it the same name as they did, and I felt like an outsider.
During the Easter Mass, I witnessed young children come up to the microphone and proceed to talk about slitting the throats of lambs, for some superstitious ritual they did thousands of years ago. But isn’t taking an innocent life something that an evil cult would do? Blood smears and daggers and candles, how can something supposed to be on opposite ends of a spectrum be so similar? Then the chanting, it freaked me out. It wasn’t like the church my grandparents went to. I learned about the stations of the cross, I understood what Easter meant to followers of Jesus. Sacrifice, forgiveness. I couldn’t figure out the part about HE IS RISEN though. I wondered if people were just pretending to go along with this? I wasn’t trying to be offensive. They killed him, it should have ended there. If he had magical powers he would have found a away to get out of it. Is it blasphemy for me to believe this, should I delete all these words, try to pretend I don’t have these thoughts? I think what Jesus taught was great, if only we could love our enemies, flip the tables of the money lenders and help the sick and poor.
Spring is holy to me because it is about renewal. I live in a place of stark difference between seasons, winters are hard. Seeing the first signs of green and buds on trees and the return of ladybugs and robins really drives to the deepest part of me. I guess that’s how Christians feel after Jesus pushes aside that big ol’ rock and goes on up to heaven. Spring is beginnings, it is growth, it is animals giving birth to their babies so they don’t die in the winter. My family decorates eggs, binges on chocolate, and gets together for a family dinner. We don’t go to church any more.
I was going to type more about the baby giraffe, and less about my controversial beliefs, I really was. Guess it just needed to come out.
After watching the birth I went back for some comments, as that was a big part of my first article about April. People suggesting names for the baby, I don’t know if it’s been declared female or if they just assume. People thanking April for having the baby on Saturday so they wouldn’t have to miss cooking Easter dinner on Sunday. Someone pointed out that April is 15 years old and had the baby April 15. Someone tells someone else to stop watching if they think it’s gross. It is pretty gross. That baby got pooped on while the mom was pushing, then there’s all that mucous hanging out her back end that she can’t seem to reach to eat it up. But once that baby giraffe has figured out its legs, and mom has cleaned it up, it’s just so cute. The beauty and magic of how we all came to be, wet and tiny and vulnerable through our mother’s strain.