Interwoven roots of spring holidays — #berkshireweekend

This weekend is named for a woman. In the mind of a man who lived and wrote near the Scots border 1500 years ago, and in contemporary minds studying the roots of language … Easter is a woman who dances, a woman shining with the dawn.

I find that comforting right now, in the raw the beginning of spring. Even on cloudy, cold days, this is a time ifor earth and warmth, when an egg and a seed are daily miracles, and so are all the beings who can create one inside themselves.

In the traditions I grew up with, this weekend is meant to be a high time for life and and peace — and an active, healing love. In the stories I learned as a child, someone who sees the humanity, the being, in people, can become strong in their own life, and change and sustain life around them like a tide.

Now I know many people and many stories woven around meetings of life and death, and courage in times of pain, and holding people close. And for people who live in temperate places with changing seasons, this time of year can open to the earliest spring bulbs, birds coming back to the marshes and mergansers in the river.

Stories can weave together and grow. So I’m glad to know that the Venerable Bede, a monk writing about 700 CE, wrote about the old English and Anglo Saxon name for the month and the moon of April:

‘Eosturmonath … was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance.’

When people come together with family and friends, to share sadness for life ending and love for life growing, I like to think that the spirit we celebrate can take the shapes we need to strengthen us, and one of them can be a woman dancing like sunrise on the water.

An anonymous Berkshire artist, the Guerilla Bunny, paints bright and detailed eggs and hides them as community art projects. Press image courtesy of the artist.
Guerilla Bunny

An anonymous Berkshire artist, the Guerilla Bunny, paints bright and detailed eggs and hides them as community art projects. Press image courtesy of the artist.


Find a touch of color and savor …

Maple syrup tours and brunch at Ioka Valley Farm or Woodlife Ranch …

Slow Fashion workshops at the Old Stone Mill — March 30 from 10:30 to 4:30

Spring Hoppening at Berkshire Botanical Garden — March 30 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Pittsfield Eggstravaganza — March 30 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the Common

Lenox Easter Egg Scramble — March 30 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lilac Park

nbCC Easter Festival — March 30 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the North Adams Armory

More events coming up …

Wildflowers bloom in the meadows at the Spruces in late summer ith mountains on the horizon.
Apr 13 2024 @ 2:00 pm
Are you interested in the future of the Spruces? Come chat with members of the Williamstown Conservation Commission about the park.
Fom the sculpture on the pathway up Stone Hill, the fields stretch away with a view to the mountains.
Apr 15 2024 @ 1:00 pm
People living with dementia and their care-partners can join the museum on select Mondays for open-ended conversations about art.
A reader holds Emily Dickinson's poems in the sunlight.
Apr 16 2024 @ 10:00 am
What would happen if a library could hold every book that ever can be written? Everyone is invited to a free, open conversation about the mystical library in Jorge Luis Borges' story, 'The Library of Babel.'

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

If you’d like to see the website grow, you can join me for a few dollars a month, enough for a cup of coffee and a cider doughnut. Members get access to extra stories and multimedia, itineraries a bookmark tool. Let me know what you're looking for, and we’ll explore together.

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