Since I was very young I’ve been fascinated by eggs. I can recall at the age of three or four finding a bird’s nest that was blown from a tree during a storm. The nest held two pale blue robin’s eggs.
They were so beautiful that I wanted to keep them, but my grandmother explained to me that they were somebody’s babies and that Momma Bird was probably sad and worried that they were missing. I climbed up in the tree and grandma handed me the nest to put back safely on a secure branch. Right around Easter time, I heard the high pitched cheeping of newborn baby birds. I thought of them as my babies too. Since then, Easter time has always been my favorite holiday and I started collecting eggs.
Over the years, I have learned a lot about eggs. Nearly every ancient civilization venerated the egg as the birthplace of both gods and men. Whether they called it the Cosmic Egg, the World Egg, or the Womb of the Great Mother, the egg shape represented creation in both Eastern and Western belief systems. To the Egyptians, the golden egg represented the sun, laid each morning by the goddess Hathor (in Western cultures she became the goose). In the Old Ways, eggs represented rebirth and renewal.
Ostera, the celebration of the Spring Equinox was an important holiday in the Celtic tradition. The festival not only celebrated the returning light of the sun, but also honored the egg goddess Eostre (after whom the Christians named their spring holy day). Strange though it may seem, it was during the ancient Ostera festivals that bunnies (which I also collect) became attached to eggs. The myth goes that the March Hare wanted to impress Eostre, so he painted a beautiful egg and presented it to her at her festival. The goddess was so pleased with the gift that she wanted all the children to have one also. She put the March Hare in charge of creating the beautiful gift eggs and thus the Eostre Bunny was born.
Decorating eggs can be as simple as dipping warm eggs in natural dies such as beet juice, blueberry juice, or saffron water to create a range of pastel colors. On the other end of the spectrum are the beautiful jewel encrusted Faberge style eggs. I have all kinds of eggs. Crystal. Wood. Paper. Metal. Glass. Ceramic. Plastic, Stone. All kinds. I even have a dinosaur egg that I found on an archeological dig I did one summer. I try to find at least one new egg every year. Some years they are plentiful and I have to stop myself from buying them all. Other years, like this one, the one that belongs in my collection doesn’t show up until the very last minute. I’m still looking for this year’s prize. But here are a few more from of my current collection.
I love spring because of the sense of renewal I feel when plants start to bloom and birds start nest-building to lay their eggs. Leave a post about what this wonderful season means to you? I would love to hear some of your favorite springtime memories whether they are related to flowers, bunnies, or eggs. Leave a post about spring and I will enter you to win an egg just like the one I add to my collection this year. I’ll pick a winner next Wednesday, April 15th. Someone will have good news on tax day!