Sunday, March 23, 2008

I Believe in Lima Beans

Last night, Easter Vigil, I went out for a glass of wine with a couple friends.
I mentioned that it was the tenth anniversary of my baptism into the Catholic faith, and I was wondering if I wanted to go to Easter Mass, even though I usually don't go to church anymore.

"I don't like Easter," Scott said. "I'm not into the dead Jesus."

"He's not dead anymore on Easter," I said. "That's the point."

"I never really got that," Scott said. "I mean, I like Christmas--I get the baby born in the stable. But Easter... I don't relate to that."

"Well," I said, "it's like spring. People who live with four seasons, like we do, should really get it. Everything is dead and then it comes back to life."

"So Jesus is like a lima bean?" Scott said. "Putting out a shoot after being in the frozen ground all winter?"

"That's good!" I said. "Jesus the Lima Bean."

A bit of an oversimplification of Easter, but about as good a definition of "God" as I've heard:
the force that wakes up lima beans in the spring.

[image of sprouting lima bean from Multitasking Mama]


Annika said...

Reading old blog entries because I'm at home with a mean cold :)

The way Christianity matches the four seasons we're used to in Europe is very beautiful. Christmas in midwinter, Easter in spring, Ascension (today!) and Whitsun right in the almost maddening explosion of fresh foilage.

Buddhism developed in a different climate; this month we celebrated Vesak, in memory of the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha (efficient, isn't it?), and this holiday is tied to the onset of the rain period in northern India. Rain period? Doesn't tell me anything, I have no idea what it feels like. This kind of cultural distance is one of the drawbacks of practising an "alien" religion.

fresca said...

Recently wondering about Japanese manga I asked Jen, who lives there, and she explained some of the social background and I realized--once again--that as an American, I cannot fully enter into that culture.

Of course, as a human, I can share many human things, like Buddha nature, but, right, some physical things--like the weather--and cultural realities-- like different valuations of emotional control-- keep me at some distance from others.