By KM Huber
Easter, a Christian tradition celebrating the resurrection of Jesus and life anew. Easter, a mostly western world tradition celebrating the gifts of the Easter Bunny, eggs of many colors–the egg an ancient symbol of life anew.
What both of these traditions share is a celebration of life renewing itself, the undulating web of existence. The traditions are separate in their rituals but one in the celebration of life beginning again.
Easter is a holiday that blends two traditions, perhaps because within the religious is the pagan, that of rebirth. They are halves of one, whole only in acknowledging the existence of one another.
In the northern hemisphere, it is spring, nature exploring the possibilities of life anew. It is a time of hope, another chance to live every day as the miracle that it is.
I neither celebrate Easter as a religious holiday nor do I await the multi-colored eggs of the generous Easter Bunny. Once, I did—each of them. Now, I celebrate both as one, full of the hope that rebirth brings.
New life emerges complete, whole, in perfect balance to weather the storms of life. Not yet are there signs of eroding, separate solutions entrenching themselves, forcing a choice.
In choosing one way or the other is how life gets labeled as this or that, pagan or Christian. In excluding one for the other, the pure essence of life is diminished. Inclusion acknowledges the one source of all.
While the natural world emerges anew every spring, humans do not physically emerge as new. Ours is a rebirth of the heart, of faith. We celebrate life anew through our rituals, pagan or Christian.
Rituals are symbols of our faith. And in this, we are whole, pagan and Christian together. The uniqueness of each tradition distinguishes one from the other but celebrating Easter as rebirth makes them one.
Too often, we focus on the separate rituals and their labels, splintering into factions, convinced our celebration is the only truth. In wholeness, there are many celebrations of life anew, each its own truth.
Humans do not comfortably gravitate toward inclusiveness when it means including all rituals, pagan and Christian. We like our labels separate, so we can readily identify ourselves.
Easter is a tradition of renewal, pagan or Christian. We benefit most when we open our celebration to all. It is the way to balance, this blending of truths so that one is not preferable to the other but equally accessible.
Accessibility spans the two traditions. It is an offering. The decision to revere is individual choice. We are whole, one, when we offer; we are separate, many, when we dictate one and only one truth.
If we can come together on the celebration of life’s renewal whether from a pagan or Christian tradition, the whole world of possibility is within our grasp for we have access to all truths.
KM Huber is a writer who learned Zen from a beagle. She believes the moment is all we ever have, and it is enough. In her early life as a hippie, she practiced poetry, and although her middle years were a bit of a muddle, she remains an overtly optimistic sexagenerian, writing prose. She blogs at kmhubersblog.com, may be followed on Twitter @KM_Huber or contacted by email at writetotheranch[at]gmail[dot]com.
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