Wax and Wood Crucifix


“Behold this dreamer…

come now therefore, and let us slay him,

and we shall see what will become of his dreams.”

                                                      Genesis 37:19-20

Easter…the neat re-branding of pagan ritual into myth-making… is arguably the most beautiful of the Catholic celebrations…purple and gold…palms and ashes…candles, incense and jubilation…a parable of hope and renewal.

A magical transition from death to deliverance.

How appropriate that it comes in Spring after the brutal assault of winter, just as tulips and daffodils are beginning to burst through frozen ground….and buds on the trees are turning the tips of every branch into quiet promise.

It is a different kind of Easter, in evergreen California. Winter is not such a beat-down here, as it is in the East…it gets cold and a little wet, but rarely enough to gripe about. It is, to a New York winter, as magic mushrooms are to chemotherapy. So too, the magnitude of Spring is similarly subdued in the golden state. It gets a little warmer, and the occasional tree will burst into bloom, but mostly it sneaks by unnoticed.

My home is on a hillside, fifty feet above a river that winds through the remnants of ancient redwoods, and finally loses itself in the sea.. The reddish bark colors the light as it passes so that everything is illuminated in shades of orange, deep yellow, and warm greens…

I am visited everyday by a raven…shiny black and large as a mid-size cat, with a three foot wingspan. He comes alone, but has a mate, who is treed far away and squawks her distrust from a distance (perhaps nagging him to bring home the bread). The big bird sits in a nearer tree, and gurgles rather than caws…something friendly that I still can’t understand.

Rain or shine…the sound of his wings gives me a secret thrill.

For the last three weeks, he has been coming two or three times a day; and I have wondered if he had become dependent on the slice of bread I threw to him at each communion. But I fed him each time, and more often than not, watched him fly away with the offering. Yesterday he came as usual, but was accompanied by two juvenile chicks who flitted about in complete glee at finding they could fly. The proud Papa was introducing them to the curious two-legged creature he has trained to provide the wheat feast.

This is my spring…the hidden exuberance of life renewed. The cub. The puppy. The lamb. The newborn thought that springs from the death of before. There is no beautiful beginning without a concomitant dying away. The soon to be resurrected Christ wore a crown of thorns…stripped of its’ roses.

The days are warmer…the nights are sweet with the scent of Jasmine… and the air has been cleansed by the April rains… and this new dream…has only just begun.


“I love Mickey Mouse more than any woman I have ever known.”

                                                        -Walt Disney


~ by theoxherd on April 18, 2014.

One Response to “Éostre”

  1. Okay, you win the crow vs raven debate we had. Crows don’t have a 3 foot wingspan and they certainly don’t strut around quoting “Nevermore!” in case your raven has taken to quoting Poe.

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