It is that time again. I’m reminded, again how the calendar is really rather arbitrary. For the Romans, the new year began in March—which makes sense in a culture so heavily dependent on agriculture and the seasons. The Romans could order up wheat from Egypt, but they sure couldn’t get bananas or pineapples in winter. Cutting back in the spring makes sense—you need to make sure you stretch your supplies until you know the crops are growing.
I am also amused by the iconography of Easter. Aside from the name of the holiday (which was Ostra, a Saxon fertility goddess (thank you, Bede), the whole duckies, eggs, bunnies, chicks, and flowers. Yes, those are the signs of death and rebirth. The whole celebration is older than two thousand years, and those things speak to something much more primal in human history.
On the whole, though, it is probably a good thing to take stock of one’s life. Certainly, compared to people’s live for most of human history, and really, compared to many folks in the world, my life is full of decadent abundance. It’s the old “I was sad because I had no hands, until I met a man who had no chips” once again. I considered giving up television for lent, but mine died with the digital transition and I just haven’t bothered to get a new one-so I don’t think that counts. I can get bananas in winter, and the grapefruit is really rather nice this year. If it comes to that, my problem is too much weight, (I’m already on a diet) I don’t smoke, alcohol has too many calories, and as I think for a living, I don’t do drugs. My friend from college, Wu, was in this predicament, one year, and he took up gambling for lent. (He played the lotto).
I rather like that idea, but I would like my money to have more of a direct impact. And, of course, I know a thing or two about math. I’m buying bees from the Heifer Project.