“Then from those profound slumbers we awake in a dawn, not knowing who we are, being nobody, newly born, ready for anything, the brain emptied of that past which was life until then. And perhaps it is more wonderful still when our landing at the waking-point is abrupt and the thoughts of our sleep, hidden by a cloak of oblivion, have no time to return to us gradually, before sleep ceases. Then, from the black storm through which we seem to have passed (but we do not even say we), we emerge prostrate, without a thought, a we that is void of content.”
― Marcel Proust
Okay, I’m about to get a little personal. But what the heck- no one reads this anyway!
You see, I don’t particularly care for religious holidays. I’m indifferent toward Christmas, and Easter hasn’t been worthy of my attention since I was 10 and stopped believing in the Easter Bunny.
Though they are touted as Christian holidays, they really have very little to do with Christ, and far more about Emperor Constantine pulling an insta-conversion by spinning pagan holidays into something with more semblance of his control process.
This is a sad affair for my children, who, though not neglected, probably don’t get blown-up with a bunch of hype about the Resurrection or the Story of the Baby Jesus. In an effort to combat my own skepticism without empirically slaying the now highly-commercialized beliefs about these holidays, I have rather, instead, determined that the focus for myself and my children will be a more-realistic and meaningful one.
For example, I have determined that Christmas is really “about” two things: being with family (and friends), and giving to others in a thoughtful manner. To this end, we have many family traditions from both sides of our family that take precedence over the preaching of the miraculous birth. We have also adopted some of our own traditions, and encourage our children to identify instead with these concepts.
Easter then is less about “zombie day” as my friend Dave calls it, and more about being reminded of the renewal opportunities that each day brings us- and provides us with a period of self-examination.
I also use Easter as an excuse to wake up early and go to a place where I feel a deeper connection to my self and the energy of the Universe (aka. my “spiritual” side). Some of my favorites have been running up Negro Bill canyon and watching the sun “rise” down the cliffs at Morning Glory Arch. This year I opted for No Thoroughfare canyon, and it did not dissapoint.
Once I reached the first waterfall (really it’s the SECOND waterfall if you want to get technical and I usually do) I was able to shut off the music, mingle moisture with a boulder, shoot some fun pictures, and enjoy the sounds of the world, which in turn gives me a moment to be present within, acknowledging my place in this world, and renewing who I am (acceptable) and who I want to be (also acceptable, but ideally more loving, thoughtful, wise, educated, and skilled).