Easter is derived from the word east — where the sun rises to begin each day. It is celebrated as transforming death. In ancient Egypt, when someone died they wested, as in the sunset.
What comes to mind when you think of Easter? Colorful spring flowers, everlasting life, love? As plants emerge and people venture out in warmer temps, I feel a hopeful, vibrant aliveness electrifying the air. While winter is often equated with darkness, spring’s glorious sunlight on my face feels like all is well. Easter also speaks this truth.
A Test of Faith
A week ago, Mother Nature pulled dwarf irises and tulip greens toward the light then played April Fool’s with a Winter wonderland. As lovely a site as it was, I wondered if this capricious weather deadened the fragile spring blooms.
“Every adversity, every failure and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit.” – Napolean Hill
But when the white magically rescinded by afternoon into a widespread vibrant green, I was reminded that stillness — no matter what type, is not everlasting. Winter becomes spring. Death transforms to life. (And then begins all over again.)
Long Journey to the Light
In contemplating Easter’s miraculous restoration of life, I think of a bulb or seed’s arduous journey, forcing its way through layers of dirt and mulch to burgeon into magnificence. Whether it’s seasons changing, a baby pushing through the birth canal, or Christ’s resurrection of spirit, change can be riveting.
Apocalypse for New Life?
Even without listening to MM, there are numerous assumptions about what is happening worldwide right now. Some think it is the Apocalypse. But, rather than consider its usual fright-inducing terms, I like what Alan Cohen says in his book The Tao Made Easy – Timeless Wisdom to Navigate a Changing World.
Defining Apocalypse as lifting the curtain, Cohen says, “Lao Tse gives us the secret to finally finish the Apocalypse and live free of the terror it has wrought.” If some view the Apocalypse as death, I say nature has already shown me that life will spring forth.
The Curtain of Sunrise
Some bloggers post that this illusory time makes it appear we are separated from love but the veil will be lifted to expose the truth. Cohen elaborates that false beliefs can create various experiences but cannot replace the reality revealed when the curtain is lifted. Fearful thinking makes things seem awry, he says and painful events are an alarm for humanity “to return to the kindly universe we have turned our backs on, and claim the well-being we deserve.”
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin
Nature’s Reassuring Promise
Nature often brings me back to balance when feeling off kilter. I look to the beauty of sunrise promising a new day. I think of the thousands marching peacefully worldwide for freedom. That gives me hope. The garden gives me hope.
Transformation from death to life, and dark to light is everywhere — in spring flowers and Christ’s resurrection of spirit. For believers and not, today is a day of wonder and renewal. It is a time of hope that love will restore living for all humankind.
“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Notation: While Alan Cohen prefers using the name Lao Tse, I prefer Lao Tzu. Still it is one and the same person who is also referred to as Laozi.
All images by Write Gardener