The rebirth and renewal of springtime so closely associated with Easter are lost on those of us in the southern hemisphere, as autumn ushers in lifeless landscapes and falling temperatures. The windswept streets of my city have slowly begun to fill with crumpled leaves in various shades of brown, a clear reminder that winter waits just around the corner.
Admittedly, graying skies and shortened days didn't previously inspire much excitement in me at Easter. But then I stumbled upon an uplifting message about Easter by Dr. Harry Melkonian of the Congregational Federation of Australia, directed especially at those of us living south of the equator:
"In the Northern Hemisphere, Easter is equated with spring – the end of winter and the return of plants and animals that have been dormant during the cold winter… For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, the opposite is the case and Easter is the harbinger of cold weather. For us Easter is not the end of physical winter but is the end of spiritual winter.
"Until the Resurrection, the world was spiritually cold, burdened with the darkness of sin and desolation. After the Resurrection, there was a spiritual light and warmth that lasts for all time. Easter is a time for new spiritual awakening and joy…
"Regardless of whether Easter arrives in cold or warm weather, for our hearts and souls, it is indeed a warm and happy time of the year..."
I found new perspective after reading Dr. Melkonian's message. Suddenly, the crunchy leaves and overcast skies didn't matter so much. He is risen!
Happy Easter to all, whatever the weather, wherever you are!
[Photo credit: Sprengben]