"I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world." -Richard Dawkins

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Eostre

Ro's first Easter here was everything one could expect from a holiday with my family- my grandparents in particular. Food in excess, a thousand desserts, baskets brimming with candy and gifts aplenty. I have a few favorites of the things I was given, though I think I'm most excited about the basket itself. It's ideal for berry picking (and washing) this summer when everything is ripe. In Ro's first, smaller basket, she recieved a few eggs filled with yogurt raisins, bug-shaped graham cookies and organic fruit ropes. There was also a copy of Douglas Florian's Mammalabilia, and the Melissa and Doug Slice & Bake wooden cookie set.

There were dozens of dyed eggs (see photo,) which means lots of egg salad in the weeks to come, and among the various (various, various) other foods, an impeccable savory corn pudding that I think I might eat again in a few hours. Ro, much to what's normal for her, did not eat much of anything besides grapes. I'm pretty sure I'm raising a fruititarian. A fruiti-yogurtarian.

Nana passed on to me a set of enamelware that's been sitting on top of Mom's fridge since they lived here three-and-some years ago. It's a lidded milking pail and a kettle, both in atrotious shades of 1970's green, lined in bright, clean white. It immediately made me wish I had a milking animal so that I could keep the good, raw milk right inside.

When Ro was dedicated at her blessing ceremony, I chose Ēostre as her patron goddess. Aurora is the Roman goddess of the dawn, and Ēostre is the Germanic goddess of the dawn. Though there is some debate as to whether or not Ēostre was an invention of the fifth century monk Bede, her image, and the Pagan counterparts of the spring equinox celebrations, are still synonymous with the holiday. (Surely no one thinks that bunnies and eggs have anything to do with the ressurection of Christ.)

All this to say that by association, Easter has somewhat become Ro's holiday. Were we any mote of Wiccan, we would believe that this was a deeply powerful day for her, but as we are not, I simply treat is as one would any particular saint's Feast Day. A Feast Day for Eostre. A Feast Day for the followers and children of Eostre. A Feast Day for Roary.

Ideally I would have liked to have had Ro help me prepare a small bowl of milk and honey and feed it to a budding plant- the lilacs or peonies, perhaps, or the rows and rows of lilies of the valley. This didn't happen, as I spent the whole weekend unpacking all of our belongings into the house and not worrying about the deep personal meanings of Easter day.

Instead, my stepfather assisted me in making a compost barrel. He had an old Rubbermaid trash can with a locking lid that we drilled holes in to allow for ventilation. I emptied into it the full mini compost pail from the back of the kitchen that I've been slowly filling all week, and to mix it I was gifted with Papa's makeshift gardening tool that consists of a walking cane with a hand cultivator duct taped to the end. It's actually brilliant and works very well. Plus, I can always tip the thing on its side and roll it!

I'm pretty excited about it- baby steps towards a great vegetable, berry and herb container garden. And even though it was free and made with old junk we found in the garage, it was my favorite Easter present.

...Okay, maybe second to the savory corn pudding. And being with my family again.

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