The Easter Bunny’s job is done. His work finished, much like Santa’s is on Christmas morning. He now walks in the ethers of our secular world without much to do until next Spring. Today is Easter Monday, Bright Monday, or New Monday (take your pick of names) and will be celebrated by many Christians, even honored as a national holiday in several European countries.
Here in the United States, we’ll observe no national holiday. We’ll curse this Monday morning with our usual banter and impatiently begin the countdown ’til Friday. In observance of Easter Monday those Christians who celebrate will rest and eat leftovers from their Easter feast. They will play games and celebrate the renewal of their faith. For them today is a day to be happy and let their emotions shift from mourning to joy.
Most of us Americans will go to work or school. If we don’t work, we’ll make busywork walking the dog, keeping our appointment at the gym, watching the stock market rise and fall. We’ll fuss with our email, Facebook, doctor’s appointments, laundry, and other assorted tasks that fill the day.
What we won’t do this morning is pause and reflect. We won’t rest and recognize the joys that renewal brings. Instead we’ll match the pace of life around us, and call this Monday morning “hectic,” “hellish,” “a rude awakening from the weekend.”
It seems timely to me that just this past week, during what is known as Holy Week, we Americans endured heated debates about our religious freedoms. Even though our constitution clearly states that each citizen has the right to religious freedom, the leaders of Arkansas and Indiana have recently enacted laws that overstate this freedom, taking risks to define it to such an extreme that it discriminates against our very own citizens.
WWJD? I ask. What would Jesus do?
I choose to remain independent from religious dogma, and in my independence, I honor and recognize Holy Week, Passover, Rites of Spring, Festival of the Trees, Eostar and the Vernal Equinox. Regardless of faith, they are important celebrations, all ushered in during Springtime, the time when life begins anew. The time when we cast off our winter clothes and the world becomes green again.
So on this bright, new Monday, I pause to reflect about this past week, the turbulent conversations about our religious freedoms, the beginning of Passover, the celebration of Easter. I’m a bit nostalgic because I missed my family’s annual egg hunt this year. Instead, I was blessed by gospel music from the Bells of Joy. And late in the evening the sun came out and long shadows fell across the yard.
Mockingbirds call out to me early this morning, pulling me into my routine of meditation and prayer, reminding me of my promise to listen and slow down. To reflect and rest in the knowing that today is glorious and beautiful, that it is bright and new. This Easter Monday, I’m glad you are here.
Photo by Ryan McGuire, www.gratisography.com