When I was growing up, our family celebrated Easter Sunday in very traditional style. My mother and father dressed in their very best clothes. My sister and I wore out new pastel colored outfits, complete with hats, and my brother had a new suit. We attended church services and everyone we knew was in attendance. There were Easter baskets and egg hunts. As we got older, the neighborhood changed as some moved away and others went off to college. The group that my siblings and I once spent nearly every day with began to get married and start their own families, often blending their beliefs and making their own traditions.
At some point – due to experiences, education, jobs and life in general – my own views about religion began to change. Part of the reason may very well have been that I was a child of the 60’s and 70’s, and we questioned everything, especially things that had no answers. Even after I got married, my husband and I did our best to pass on what we had been taught as products of a Catholic background to our children. Underneath it all, however, some doubts about what we once believed lingered.
I can’t really define what category I fall into anymore. I know all of the traditions, rituals, prayers and tenets from my childhood. Some make sense to me and some don’t. The rules that were created by the men who oversee the church I grew up in baffle me at times, and I’ve found myself putting more distance between what they want me to do and what I am comfortable doing.
I think that I describe myself as spiritual, but no longer religious. Those basic guidelines that I learned as a child have remained, and, for the most part, I do my level best to avoid breaking any of those teachings. It’s a struggle sometimes, as it probably is for most people. I do, however, honor and appreciate the holy days, and I do it strictly because they are important to me. Easter is one of those days. During this week, I remind myself that one must suspend disbelief – that there are certain things that shouldn’t be explained. They just are – with no logic or reason at all.
Several years ago, during Easter week, my family experienced an event that was truly life altering. The details are irrelevant, but I know that it changed all of us. That Easter of 2003, was both the worst and the best of any I have ever lived through. My husband and I still talk about it, at times, and we use words like miracle and angels in our discussions. So now I have a different perspective, albeit a more personal one. In the aftermath and in my own way, I assigned a meaning to the notion of resurrection and rebirth, something that would only make sense to the handful of people who were there and lived through it with us.
I want to wish all of you a good day this Sunday, however you celebrate it and by whatever name you give it. There won’t be the type of observance, here at the Farm, that anyone would notice, but it will be observed, quietly, with gratitude and with an appreciation for things and events that have no solid proof or factual basis.