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Easter, The Earth And The Great Turning

April 12th, 2009 by Alison · No Comments · home & garden, nature, spirituality

It’s Easter morning! And warmish out! My pear trees and blueberry bushes are blossoming, our baby chicks are growing into leggy adolescents, and I’ll soon walk over to choir practice at Tabor Heights Methodist, where we’ll rehearse  — with trumpet players! -  for the Easter service.

It’s all so climactic.  . . . diamond-cut, really. We’ve struggled along through the surly, overcast winter that had the most snowfall of my lifetime, and made it to spring — and new life. Defrosted soil you can turn. Growing crops. Chicks that will grow up to lay almost an egg per day. Life-giving food.

We’ve traveled through Lent, Jesus’ betrayal, suffering and crucifixion, and his resurrection — into new life. Forgiveness when we’ve been wrong. Community instead of isolation. Unconditional love and the confident joy that brings. I walk around with that joy, and I want it for everyone, whatever theology, or not, a person may have.

Many modern Christian holidays (the word comes from ‘holy days’) were built on top of the old earth-centered religions. It’s no coincidence, for example, that Easter comes in the spring: they are both about rebirth and new life.  Each year on Easter morning when I sing “Christ the Lord is risen today”  with the choir, trumpets and annually enlarged congregation I feel swept into something much greater than myself.

What’s greater than myself is both the earth and God, and I’ve always felt in my heart that God and the earth are married to each other, like inseparable lovers. We humans have exploited the earth and traveled quite a ways away from our ancestors’ respect for the natural world. But I think that climate change will trigger a spiritual evolution, the one that Joanna Macy and David Korten call the Great Turning.

I may not live to see the day, but eventually, we will understand that the natural world is not a series of objects separate from us.  We’ll know that our human life and fate and that of our beautiful earth are the same thing. And we’ll live on the earth that way, like we mean it, and it will be not just the Great Turning, but the ultimate, joy-drenched, ongoing Easter.

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