April 13, 2006

Of Peeps and Peepers....

The connection between Easter and the spring equinox is similar to the relationship between Christmas and the winter solstice - early Christians combined the pagan festivals which coincided with the shortest and the longest days of the year with Christian holy days. The word Easter itself even evolved from the word, East, extolling the significance of the sun rising and the lengthening day. Even the icons of eggs and bunnies of today's commercial Easter experience, are not that far off from what the pagans used since eggs, chicks and rabbits are all symbols for fertility. Perhaps the Peep isn't as commercial as we think it is.

Regardless of ones beliefs, nature knows that it is certainly spring, the spring peepers have begun mating since I can hear them through my car windows, when I route my drive home along the back roads of southern Massachusetts.Near my home they are all gone due McMansions and new homes. Which reminds me, spending daylight hours in an office does make one feel disconnected from the natural cycles, I do dream, perhaps unrealistically, that someday that I would take a cabin in the woods for just a year, similar to what sociobiologist and Univeristy of Vermont proffessor and author Bernd Heinrich did in his book A Year in the Maine Woods,and live more connected to nature. I can only imaging the daily experience of waking with the spring chorus of songbirds, and falling asleep to the sound of the spring peepers, the tiny tree frogs that fill the evening air with their mating call as they travel from vernal pool to vernal pool seeking a mate. A life without electricity, email (well, maybe email), or a clock may horrify some, but I like to think that it would reset my mind to a new centered place which one may only dream about.

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