Saturday, April 23, 2011

Good Friday and Earth Day

Yesterday was Good Friday.  I didn't realize until after I wrote yesterday's post that yesterday was also Earth Day.  Secular holidays move around religious holidays in often intriguing ways, and yesterday's juxtaposition intrigued me all day.

My spouse and I spent part of yesterday re-mulching the labyrinth.  When we first created our labyrinth, we used old roofing tiles.  On Good Friday 2 years ago, the labyrinth suffered its first vandalism attack which resulted in about a quarter of the labyrinth tiles being broken (see this post for more details). During the next year, we had several more visits by the vandals.  We got tired of replacing broken tiles.  We picked them all up, and then we put cedar mulch down where the tiles had been.  We re-mulch periodically.  It's relatively cheap and during the rare times of the year that we need to mow, the mulch doesn't get in the way.

So, yesterday, during a beautiful morning, we re-mulched, and I put the numbers on clay squares so that people could walk the labyrinth and pause to observe the stations of the cross, if they chose to do so.  I went home to get cleaned up, and I returned to be the staff person at the labyrinth.  Even though it's self-directed, I feel it's more welcoming to have someone there.  Plus, it's interesting how many people do not see a labyrinth as self-directed, and it's good to have someone there to answer questions.  So, I sat in the shade and enjoyed the breeze and got some reading done and did a bit of labyrinth directing.

Labyrinths are an interesting intersection where pagan traditions and Christian traditions meet (I have met Wiccans who love labyrinths, and I know Christians with deep connections to labyrinths), so it felt right to spend so much of Earth Day at the labyrinth.  I live in a part of the country that doesn't have much in the way of earth.  In geological time, our point of the continent was under water not too long ago.  Instead of earth, we have sand and ground coral.  And the land that we have has often been buried under concrete.  I love that our labyrinth claims part of our vacant land as spiritual sacred space.  We're not going to sell it to a commercial operation; we're not going to turn it into a parking lot.  We're not even going to turn it into a garden, which would require trucking in soil.  We're going to leave it low maintenance.

After Good Friday service, we helped move the lilies into place.  I love that our worship space changes.  We took down the severe Good Friday drapings and arranged flowers around the sanctuary.  It was a lovely way to end Earth Day.  I know that many of us will take the lilies and flowers home and plant them in our yards, right there by the poinsettias.  Many of us are transplants from other places, and most of us are like my spouse, who will plunk anything in the ground and hope for the best.

So, today we wait for Easter, for the empty tomb.  Some Christians will go to Easter vigils, but I suspect most Christians are like me, getting ready for tomorrow.  I'll have my quilting group coming over, and maybe I'll work on a prayer shawl.  But before that, I need to clean the house a bit, and get started on a bunny cake.  It's not a somber day for me, and I feel a bit weird about that.  Having friends over feels more like Maundy Thursday than post-Good Friday.  Or maybe pre-Easter.

But most of us who are Christians have had alternate calendar cycles in our heads throughout the year, so the fact that my calendars are out of sync isn't that unfamiliar to me.  And perhaps my tasks today won't be as out of sync as I think.  I'll keep my senses tuned.

No comments: