Top doctors are not the only ones suggesting that gardening and being amongst nature is good for us. Recently others have also suggested that our increasing isolation from nature, our obession with gadgets and stuff, is making us (and our children) more and more detached from the world around us and increasingly unhappy: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-1749503 and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16963807
With all that in mind it’s good to remind ourselves that the plots in the park at Parson Cross are aimed at encouraging families, and especially children to get involved. Sadly as Faye has now left there will be no organised childrens activities during this Eater break, but hopefully by the next holidays we’ll be able to arrange something; whether it’s bug hunting, scarecrow making, or just a picnic in the park – whatever it is let’s all encourage ourselves and our young folk to get involved.
Continuing our Holy Week thoughts, and with children in mind – we can’t ignore the story about Easter eggs. For many Pagans, the egg represented the rebirth of the earth, which allowed people to become hopeful of spring after a long winter. With the emergence of spring, the earth burst forth and was reborn, just as an egg bursts forth with new life.
The term Easter itself, comes from Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon pagan goddess of spring, to whom the month of April was dedicated. So, along with the spring equinox and spring festivals, people started exchanging eggs as a symbol of creation, new-life, and a resurrection of nature after winter.
With the coming of Christianity, the Easter egg was also adopted as a christian symbol. The egg changed from representing nature’s rebirth to the rebirth of humankind, the hatching Easter chick became a symbol of the tomb from which Jesus emerged, the hollow egg the empty tomb.
By the Middle Ages decorating and coloring eggs for Easter became the custom in England. The wealthy covered eggs in gold, while the peasants dyed theirs with flowers and herbs – I can’t see us decorating many eggs here with gold either so we’ll stick to good old paints, and of course maybe the odd chocolate one on Easter Sunday!