The Sabbath of Innocence
In the metaphorical arc of the year, High Spring is the time of youth–of childhood.
As it happens, I don’t have children in my life very much. I have none of my own, and of the local friends I have with kids, they are older: teens and young adults.
And my experience of childhood was anything but innocent. So the concept of childhood isn’t exactly happy and light in my own experience.
Yet I can imagine.
I imagine the sheer wonder of a rattle shaking, of soap bubbles floating, of an unopened present. The newness of it all, in a world of giants.
I see, especially in the very young, that sheer amazement at things we take for granted: ringing bells. Rain or snow. Shiny, colorful objects.
I think of the growing sprouts of Spring, and imagine how they orient to that bright, shiny orb in the sky, struggling up in brilliant green, and the spectrum of spring flowers. The children of the soil.
How amazing that bright, bright thing must be to them.
For they, too, are innocent. Born for the first time, a new generation, informed by evolutionary history but each of them, individually, making its first and only try at Life.
And so we celebrate High Spring with traditional things, like dyed eggs and colorful candy, and as well with childhood things, like childrens’ games.
It’s worth doing, to have a holiday especially for children in the course of the year. Other holidays mostly focus on adults, and it is always important for us to remember, as the Eighth Atheopagan Principle reminds us, that the next generation is precious and in our care.
Spring is newness and delight, Nature laughing in flowers, creeks and rivers rushing.
Life is returning.
The dreamed-of is becoming real.
It begins with a giggle:
The tiniest white tendril reaching from the secret soil
Like a child’s laugh, the purr of a cat and then
Raising, greening leaves and flowers peal across the meadows,
Carpet even what was once severe, sere,
Frowning brown in summer’s dry thatch,
A deep belly rumble of soaring chlorophyll
Spreading wanton leaves, dangling perfumed sex
Climbing to nod and wave come and get me,
Brazen to the skip of children gathering posies
Bees lumbering slow in the crisp morning air
You, and I, perhaps, gone down to the stream
To lay down in that place, screened by waving rye
And the laughter of the stream gurgling out like a baby’s delight
Playing with our playthings as we do, exploring
The whole world green and gripped with the howl of it:
Spring come at last.