Your job, then, should you choose to accept it, is to keep searching for the metaphors, rituals and teachers that will help you move ever closer to divinity. The Yogic scriptures say that God responds to the sacred prayers and efforts of human beings in any way whatsoever that mortals choose to worship — just so long as those prayers are sincere. As one line from the Upanishads suggests: “People follow different paths, straight or crooked, according to their temperament, depending on which they consider best, or most appropriate — and all reach You, just as rivers enter the ocean.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
Happy Easter! (…or Happy Easter week if you took a break and are reading this a few days after Easter!)
While I was out shopping for ingredients for a special feast – Easter day and a family birthday – I saw those flowers above and melted. I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully for the most part, to cut down on caffeine and wine, so flowers have been my replacement drug of choice. Oh how I wish you could stick your face in these and smell the jonquils; they’re so heady it’s like drinking in fragrance and they make you raise your shoulders with breathing them in then you sigh out pure bliss…
It’s been a funny old Easter this year. When Greek Orthodox Easter and western Easter fall on the same day, it means that my kids’ candles and presents, sent by godparents in Greece, arrive at the same time as their chocolate Easter eggs from grandparents here. We normally have to have two celebrations. Today’s also a family member’s birthday, yet one of my kids is away on a special county-level music course, an honour and experience we were loathe to ruin by insisting on an Easter weekend spent together. I think God would smile at the sound of children celebrating the resurrection with choral harmonies, triumphant brass bands and soaring strings.
We have a feast on Easter day, with red boiled eggs, traditionally dyed and decorated on the Thursday before Easter, and all kinds of salads and a roast. I miss being in Greece on the Friday before Easter as that’s when church bells toll mournfully, the whole day long, on every island and in every village, town and city. I also miss being part of Anástasi – the Resurrection – on the Saturday night.
At midnight, the first few candles in each church are lit from the holy flame then one worshipper ignites a neighbour’s candle with love and chanted blessings – Christ is risen, truly risen – until everyone’s taper is lit. Happy crowds carrying flickering candles walk home from church, like rivers of light winding through the darkness while fireworks explode into dazzling bouquets above their heads in a vast black velvet sky. It’s good luck if you manage to keep a candle lit all the way home then mark the sign of the cross with smoke on the lintel above the front door as a blessing to last the whole year.
My kids’ godmothers – who live in different seaside towns and have no contact with each other – both sent them beautiful seaside themed candles that match their rooms.
I’d like to leave you today with one of my favourite poems in the whole world, ee cummings’ i thank you God…
As I said in my post on April 12th last year, “I love the way ee cummings’s mind moves. I love the way he makes me explore the possibilities of my own language, searching for meanings in what’s not there and the why and the where of what is there. I love his delight in words, letters, syntax, symbols and sound and the way he expresses life and love.”
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing—lifted from the no
of all nothing—human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
I’m celebrating my blog birthday by reminiscing!
This time last year, I posted….