Oestara is the season of new life. It’s bursting out all over. From the tulips and the crocus surging through the ground to the new lambs and baby chicks in the farmer’s yards. In our own yard, we have lemon balm, catnip, lavender, tulips, daffodils, yarrow, some flower I bought on clearance, but don’t know what it is, and the 99 cent mums I bought at Wal-mart about four years ago that keep coming back. This is the time of year when the world is painted with new life.
But so, too, are relationships renewed. One of the traditions my partner and I have is to dye eggs. It’s silly, I suppose, that grown adults could have so much fun with vinegar-based dye from clearance rack purchased kits. But I wasn’t allowed to dye eggs as a kid (too messy), so we had to settle with those shrink-wrap things instead. One of the first decisions I made when I moved out on my own was to dye eggs, and it’s been a source of amusement to me, and to my family who benefits from the colored eggs, as well.
So it’s a time of year, about two months after my birthday, where we can both stop what we’re doing and make time to do something totally fun, totally frivolous, and totally for ourselves. We might watch movies or have dinners other times out of the year, but when we paint our hard-boiled eggs we’re not just painting the eggs, we’re also painting our relationship with new life. It’s a renewal for us, a fun one, that we can think of and enjoy for several days afterward as we enjoy the eggs.
However, on a more serious note for us this year, it’s also a time to paint our lives with new colors. A career change, somewhat unexpected, happened at the first of March, and I’ve been learning how to move forward and make the transition to wholly self-employed. It’s new colors because I’m no longer working third shift; I can see the sun and the flowers. New colors because my fibromyalgia is very happy about the change and not flaring as bad as it had. New colors because of the smile on my face and the sun-warmed glow in my cheeks.
There’s new things happening every moment it seems this time of year. Lives are changing, growing, adjusting. Plants are growing, this year a lot earlier than normal. We’re dying eggs, whether to celebrate Oestara, Easter, or just for fun! Planting flowers and gardens will create a palate of color in our yards. It might seem as if there’s a lot of colors and too much to see.
And while Mother Nature is hurrying up, we don’t have to join her. We can slow down and take time to enjoy the new things that are happening. We can pause to enjoy a bunch of daffodils blooming several weeks early and admire the sunny, yellow glow. The red-breasts of robins will put a smile on our faces, reminding us that spring is well on its way, if not actually here. Green grass and green leaves tell us that we made it through another dreary winter. Blue skies provide warmth and lengthening days. And in my house, when we dye an Oestara egg orange, we are fondly reminded of a cat we once had who was that exact shade, and just about built like an egg. We’re also reminded of new life, for we have our “kittens” (about ages 3-5 now) who paint our lives with neon-colored catnip mice, and lots of laughter. And they don’t supervise the Oestara Egg dying nearly as well as Druscilla did.