It’s Easter and Passover season. To say nothing of Holi, last week’s Hindu festival. There may be other significant cultural and religious holidays around now, but those are all I know.
To everyone, then, greetings.
In fact, I grew up in a non-religious household. I may be the only sibling who emerged a bona fide atheist, others might be agnostic. Or Buddhists. Possibly Buddhists. We don’t talk much about religion, unless you want to include spirit animals. High WASPs are like that – we merge our heritage of Scottish grouse-beating with the more global mystical quest. Old money so often births old hippies. It’s a benign outcome, and one which has served the world well over time.
But my family did dye Easter eggs. My mother and father, when still married, loved the tradition. I suspect that growing up in a world with a bright line between kitchen and formal rooms left them both a little giddy in the face of messes, pale blues, and multiple cartons.
Wax crayons work like magic, dye revealing scrawled daisies.
To this day I smile at the scent of vinegar. I know now that it dissolved the eggshells a bit, allowing the color to take.
I suppose if you think about it, one could create a parable from egg-dyeing. Particularly in my family. Something to do with the act of creation bound by structure. Each egg the same, with its limits, its perfect limits, and each egg finally different. Often named. Child handwriting, staggering with difficulty across a curved surface.
My eggs were almost always blue, and I think I almost always thought how lucky robins were, to speckle their eggs naturally. Life needs you to learn which parts almost always happen.
Again, specifically, to take on color one has to dissolve the shell.
Please excuse the obvious metaphors, but Easter celebrates the obvious, at least in the humanist realm. We might not understand the meaning of a Christmas tree, but if you don’t get what’s going on with all the bunnies and eggs let’s talk. Talk, and eat chocolate, if only to research the cultural import of mouthfeel.
Happy holidays to all.
Photo via Growing A Green Family on Flickr