April 23, 2011 7:40:00 PM
Easter is a time of rebirth. No matter if Christian or pagan, most cultures find comfort in renewal. We celebrate the return of flowers from their winter''s sleep, and the risen Christ.
The symbols of Easter represent fertility. Images of baby animals, soft, tiny bunnies and chicks are everywhere. What is more iconographic than an egg? It is a beginning and an end. This is something that everyone recognizes, from the illiterate to the most erudite.
We want to believe that the Earth is eternal, that the cycle of life is infinite. But, I cannot help but wonder if we are living in a fool''s paradise. There is much consolation in the idea that new seasons will arrive, and that we have to do nothing but wait.
Humans cling tenaciously to our sense of hope. Whenever I get a new credit card, I have the faint expectation (yes, very faint) that my old debts will magically vanish, wiping clean my balance.
This week we are acknowledging the one year anniversary of the beginning of the BP oil spill. That disaster continued for 87 days and dumped 200 million gallons of sludge into the Gulf of Mexico, just off the coast of Louisiana.
Today, we are being told that the ocean is almost as it was before. Are we really that naive? It is a fact that the marine life was dramatically damaged. Sea turtles, dolphins and whales were, and still are, obviously harmed. The animals who survived the initial leak now show the effects of ingesting thick, black poison. And that is only what we can see now. This is a man-made debacle, but seemingly unfixable my man.
An argument can be made that the tsunami in Japan was an act of God. I''m not sure that God was instrumental in placing a huge nuclear reactor in such a perilous place. We haven''t seen the last of that.
One scary thought is that we are creating catastrophes that have no solution. Certainly, not ones that can be mended quickly.
Both, the attempts to cap the Deepwater Horizon and the Japanese nuclear plant, appeared to be Rube Goldberg contraptions, designed by committees of morons. The Three Stooges could have done a better job.
I want to have trust in renaissance. Like most humans, I want to believe that our planet is self-healing, that wounds mend and repair themselves, as our skin does. Also, like most humans, I am a dreamer, living in fantasy.
Easter is a time of faith. It is a time to accept the wonder of rebirth. However, these days, it may also be a time to realize that not all damage can be restored with a Band-Aid and a belief in miracles. The Earth is like the Gulf, like the air and water. It may take more than one spin around the sun to repair such extraordinary mutilation.
Today is Easter Sunday. I want to believe that man''s damage to our planet can be unraveled. Happy Easter to my friends. May your basket be filled with all the right kinds of glue, a willing heart and, of course, a big chocolate egg.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.