I’m going to make cutout Easter cookies and having prepared the dough, am waiting for it to chill before rolling it out. So, I thought I’d try to get this week’s blog knocked out while waiting.
Looking at the cookie cutters I’m using there are a number of rabbits. Take rabbits. I have had a lifelong fascination/love/obsession with rabbits. Ask anyone in our family, nuclear and extended, and they will acknowledge it as fact. It has a lot to do with my uncle and aunt who raised show rabbits. They made a deep, lasting, and positive impression on me.
One would only have step inside our home and glance around to ascertain that, yep, someone around here reeeeally likes rabbits. I don’t know if said visitors would exchange meaningful glances, accompanied by lifted eyebrows and a smirk, behind my back, but I wouldn’t blame them. There are a lot of rabbits depicted and represented, I think tastefully, in our home. The half bath is a veritable rabbit shrine. See photo.
Maybe I am thinking about rabbits more than usual as Easter approaches because, I am sorry to report, my little fuzzy rabbit buddy, Fizzbit, passed away over the winter. I still miss him. He was small, with long fur and a spunky personality that far outweighed his physical size. He is still pictured on the web site. I can’t quite bring myself to take that photo down.
I am not going to get another rabbit. When a rabbit hutch is outside predators and the elements are always a concern, so I would want a house rabbit. That is a huge undertaking, because in reality, being natural gnawers, they really aren’t cut out for human domiciles. That being said, there are a gazillion house rabbit lovers out there and they get along fine. I just don’t want to make the concessions and adjustments to make the house rabbit ready. It’s difficult enough trying to think ahead of our grandson when he explores. And my spouse is even more outspoken on the topic.
Since ancient times rabbits have been associated with spring. Heralded by the lengthening hours of sunlight and warming temperatures, pagans celebrated the season of regrowth, rebirth and fertility – human and earth. Rabbits and hares have symbolized fertility and rebirth since before the written word. The very word Easter evolved from the Saxon word Eostre, the name of the goddess of spring, whose companion was a hare. Notice how close it is to the word estrogen – I haven’t looked it up, but I’d bet a Cadbury egg, there’s a connection to women and fertility. I might also point out at this time that there is a difference between rabbits and hares, but I won’t go into that.
Anyway, as Christians began to eschew the old pagan practices, choosing instead to celebrate the resurrection, or rebirth, of Christ, it all got mixed together with lilies and patent leather shoes. This is why, the night before Easter Sunday, we have giant rabbits romping through our homes, leaving behind candy and small gifts (rabbits are very good at leaving small gifts behind) and hiding fertility symbols in the form of eggs on top the fridge, behind the draperies, and under throw pillows. Now you know why I was never asked to be a Sunday school teacher.
These are my thoughts as Easter approaches. Fortunately for this weary, uneasy world, we still have reason to celebrate new life, rebirth, hope, and a renewal of faith, in addition to wiggly noses and powderpuff tails.