March 20, 2012
Spring has sprung! This is my tenth first day of spring in Wisconsin and I sure don’t remember one like this. I’ve been saying over and over this winter, “thank God for global warming”. That is of course a little tongue in cheek, but I am glad that we were blessed with such a mild winter and that the last few days have been so spectacularly gorgeous. It makes me want to dance and celebrate the many gifts that God has given to me.
Those of us in the northern hemisphere (and let’s face it, our culture is pretty hemispherecentric) have always celebrated Easter as a part of spring and used the trappings of spring as major symbolism for the resurrection. Unlike Christmas, the date of which is almost certainly fictitious, we actually know when the first Easter occurred. We know because Jesus was in Jerusalem celebrating the Passover when he had the Last Supper with the disciples prior to his crucifixion. It really was in spring.
I have found that my very least favorite thing about living in Wisconsin is that it is never warm at Easter. Having grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area, my childhood experience of Easter was warm and flowery. The rainy season had just ended so everything was green and blooming. We could wear wonderful short-sleeved Easter dresses and hunt eggs outside every single year. Here it seems more often than not we have to wear snow boots on Easter. I hate that.
I feel so excited about the possibility of a warm Easter. To have flowers blooming and no snow on the ground, to wear clothes with floral prints and short sleeves would be like my childhood fantasy life coming true again. I spent much of today (as it was my first day off in two weeks) playing outside with my four-year-old. The smell in the air was spring. It revitalizes me and makes me feel like a new person. That is what Easter is supposed to be about. Not just the promise of new life, but the experience of new life. To sit in snow boots waiting for spring is like sitting in the tomb, waiting for resurrection. We hear the promise that it will happen, but it can be hard to be positive that that is true. However, when we feel spring upon us, we are confident that once again the beautiful cycles of life are all working together. Resurrection not only might be real, but is real. God gives us new life, new energy, new passion. Come into your new life, it is wonderful!