First warming sun today at last, to follow
cold, sharp winter; new buds start to dress
the land around, to adorn once more after nature’s rout,
stripping down to stark dark shapes summer-green,
winter-grey trees and hedges, belittled still by
funereal firs, blood-flecked holly, brooding yews.
I saw the Crucifixion in the wide-stretched limbs of
nearby beeches and a re-birth in their budding –
I don’t know why, not being especially religious.
But I do know why: because the image is always
there, and there, and there too; arms out, hands fixed,
feet together – easily picked out, ubiquitous.
it struck me that the Cross and He made a
tree of sorts; He the leaves dying, coming back.
Maybe that was it all along, part of the deal –
one more detail for a pretty good story. But
was that it? I don’t really know, even now,
how He saved me. Or from what. Perhaps it was
all to do with His keeping faith through thick and thin and,
in return, I repay Him by casting out sin? It’s
something along those lines, I guess, and, yes,
good that I’m reminded each year – it’s not so clear.
What is clear? I look out, I see, I hear. One glance away,
I find perfection in a moment, then another, then more:
the mix of bright yellow daffodils, the persistent
itch of returned birdcall – so each, so each, so each.
Maybe, for most, this magic teaches open eyes and ears
that sin really won’t catch on in these parts?
Maybe there’s a quiet understanding that we do
doff our caps to a god – the one that’s all around us?
Easter musings. I look up the name and find
Oestre, Anglo-Saxon goddess. Hence the eggs?
So, Oestre meets Him, a heady mix and lo!
You have it: fertility and rebirth hand in hand.
Our deities rise from the dead of winter, bringing
new life, teeming, bursting, the Earth’s deep
urging, driving, insistent, irresistible, seeding,
breathing hard, pushing out, procreating.
Deep rhythms of life and ruttings lie behind those
sweet-tooth litotes of chocolate egg hunts and
chick-decorated Easter cakes. Why such cosy insulation?
Will man’s deep being be denied, swept aside,
patched up with tight-minded belief in Him, the Saviour,
and the sterility of supermarket sweetmeats?
Curiosity requires that we recreate lost pagan rites! I say
no dumbing down and let clowns be kings for a day.
All speculation, all imagination? No certainty that
Oestre was fertility deified – though I defy any to show
it was another. Her name oozes fecundity, does it not?
Hot topic for further ruminations before next spring,
bringing warmth again when harsh winter’s done and
Earth turns its weathered North towards the sun.