I grew up in a very restrictive, fundamentalist Christian household. Many Holidays celebrated, including St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Palm Sunday revolved around different traditions in our household. This time of year does bring fond memories back and also unpleasant ones. Even as a child, I questioned a lot of what we did and what we believed, it was as though I really couldn’t grasp or better, buy into what I was being told. This did not bring out the best in me or make me very popular. What it does is make me question what I’m being told, whether it’s the “news”, “facts”, or “information”. Where is this coming from? Who is telling it? Is this how life really is? Is this coming from someone’s perception and how is their emotional state, upbringing, life circumstances affecting their point of view. Is this a point of view being touted rather than a factual recollection of events?
For instance, If St. Patrick was known for driving the snakes out of Ireland, serpents being the ancient symbol for rebirth and ridding the old with the new of the early Pagan religions, the day celebrated by many Irish and Catholics takes a whole new meaning. I have Irish heritage, raised somewhat Lutheran (which studies the Catechism) and celebrated Easter every year. Do I then have to perceive the “evilness” of the organized religion that overtook many Pagan holidays and made them their own as a way of converting? Is my wearing green symbolizing this? Is my eating of those lovely Cadbury cream eggs full of corn-syrup mean the commercialization of Easter lessens the meaning of “Christ’s Resurrection” meaning the Rabbit has won over Jesus? Only if you believe that Jesus was resurrected that day. Only if we want to believe only part of history, part of story and partial truth.
This time of year, Spring, is a time of birth and renewal. Flowers grow, leaves spring from the deadened trees, and animals are birthing their young. Can I see renewal in my life? What old beliefs or thoughts can I release to make room for new ones? Do these traditions I uphold in my life today stand for something that I no longer believe in? Can they evolve into something else? Can I evolve into something else? What do I make room for in my life?