In Praise of the Sweetness of Life
We are just emerging from the cocoon of a cold, cold winter to emerge into the season of mud, cold, and continued snow here in Central New York. With stunned hoped and distrust, we are now seeing and hearing the signs of spring. Robins, red-winged blackbirds, mourning doves, finches, and jays congregate greedily at the bird feeder on our front porch.
Another sure sign of spring is the Easter season. In the past, as a former fundamentalist Christian and then a pagan, I had not been a big fan of Easter. I remember in the last year of my Christian days sitting in a Bible Baptist church on Easter Sunday listening to a sermon and becoming frustrated by the continued overt sexism and hidden racism of the smug, well-dressed preacher. That was back in 1976 and I made a vow never to attend such a sermon again.
Since that time, Easter with the store closings and lack of services for the non-practicing Christian always took me by surprise. It’s like I obliterated it from my mind. In a more suburban and diverse place like Washington D.C. (where I used live in the suburbs), it was easier to forget about Easter. Here in Central New York, it’s much harder to ignore the holiday. I’m not sure people realize how dominate the Catholic religion is in this area. Holy Week is important here! Sometimes even state agencies and related entities don’t do work because it’s Holy Week.
At the same time, I love this season. I love the pastel colors, the baskets, the eggs, and the general sweetness of it. Spring usually bursts forth in the stores before it’s reflected in the flowers and the trees. It makes my spirits soar to see all the yellows, pinks, greens, lavender, and blues of the seasons. It’s a reminder that the Wheel does turn and light and lightness overtakes the dark. As a quilter, I like bright bold colors and I also like the spectrum of pastels. The pastels bring a lightness and pleasure not felt with the power of dark and bold colors.
And then, there are Peeps. What is the Easter season without Peeps. I love Peeps. I love the pretty pastel colors, the cringing sweetness, and the chewy delights of the marshmallows. I am instantly transported back to that lightness and delights of our imagined and sometimes real childhoods memories. Plus, I adore the kitschy, fun, funny part of Peeps. Every year since 2007, my favorite newspaper, The Washington Post, has a Peeps Diorama contest. They are too funny. The internet is full of things that people do with Peeps. As a librarian, I am honor bound to tell you about the Peeps at the library, one of my favorites. I am not ashamed to admit that I have a great many Peeps products. I was going to tell you it only filled a small storage tub but that would be a lie.
More often than not, my circle celebrates this season with a Peeps ritual. I learned this ritual from Lady Phoenix Medusa and have embellished it with my style. We gather together to play, sing, dance and do ritual. It’s all about celebrating the sweetness of life in all its mysteries. And of course, we eat. Like all churches, pagans celebrate with food. We all assume our Peeps names — I’m Lady Creamsicle take place in circle and make fun. We make fun of ourselves, we make fun of each other, and we make fun in general. Through our laughter, rowdiness, our funny clothes, and food we celebrate the joys of our connections with Spirit.
May you find joy and sweetness today and everyday!