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A New Leaf

Photo credit: Genessa Gutzait

Today I woke up early to drive to Lookout Mountain and jump for joy when the sun came up. Every Spring Equinox Wiccans celebrate Ostara and the coming of spring, longer days, and rebirth. The holiday celebrates the goddess of April, Ēostre or Ostara, whose name gives us the modern day Easter.

Ostara was moved from April to March in order to coincide with the equinox and now covers the Catholic St. Patrick’s Day. The holiday as we now know it represents new beginnings, a fitting theme for midterm week.

I’ve been up every night for the past few nights reading critical essays and trying to finish a draft of an article for my independent study. The topic: rebirth, specifically how Edmund Spenser saw rebirth as an androgynous act, during the reign of Elizabeth I. I can’t help but laugh when I think of how I’ll become reborn after I’ve finished this essay, baptized in the waters of spring break.

Last week I had decided to stop drinking coffee. It took me only a few days of mental exhaustion to break that new habit. I had wanted to reduce my stress levels and do something healthy for myself. I’d made resolutions to work out more, get more sleep, eat better, and not drink caffeine. Needless to say, I’d failed at all of these as soon as I started on my essay.

What happens when a rebirth fails? Will I emerge from the womb of this week defeated, a stillbirth, lifeless and sticky? I’m looking forward to break the way a dog waits at the door for its owner to return. But does that pooch have any goals of self-improvement? No. The only new leaf it turns over is that which has the neighbor dog’s poop on the underside.

I’m afraid I’ll get a big whiff of that crap. I’m afraid I’ll crash and burn. I’m afraid to be spurned from the world as the devil might’ve been. I remember the break. I forget the task at hand and know that if I can only get through this week, perhaps the silent cacoon of my couch holds more promise than a life without caffeine. Perhaps there’s a quiet change waiting over the horizon.

 

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