I come from a family of devout Atheists. Our system of non-belief has traveled down our lineage for generations. It’s keeps us together through bad times (which we use sarcasm and gallows humor to weather) and raises up our spirits during the good (celebrating again through the use of sarcasm and gallows humor, with competition thrown in the mix). It’s our family legacy.
That’s not to say we don’t have our black sheep religious folk. Grandma Jean goes to church every Sunday and we all try to accept her deviation, even if we don’t understand it. You can’t force people to see the light if they don’t want it in their hearts, we remind ourselves when she stops by on her way home from church on Sundays, our high holy day of catching up on laundry and grocery shopping.
I’m pretty sure there are even a few closeted agnostics in our midst, but every family has a few of those. It’s hard to blame them, anyway. Maybe the doubters of the skeptics are really just doing it even better than the rest of us.
I admit I even dabbled on the other side for a time in high school. It was a rebellious phase I was going through. Every Sunday when I was 16 I would get up early and put on a pretty dress and attend services at our closest Methodist church. I also went to Youth Group Sunday nights and played volleyball on the church team. I knew it made my parents uncomfortable, but they did their best to give me the freedom to make my own choices and kept a spot open for me in the early Sunday hiking group if I ever changed my mind. Eventually I came back to the fold.
This weekend we celebrated one of our important family holidays: Easter. Like so many religious days, it takes its name and date from other sources, but we’ve molded it to fit our own special celebrations and traditions. In my family, Easter represents and celebrates the beauty of:
Six times as much food as we could ever consume in one day
Not enough champagne
Pontoon boat rides
Excessively competitive egg hunts with clues, prizes and usually someone getting injured
Naps at 3pm
It works for us.
I hope everyone else equally enjoyed their unique traditions and celebrations of the season!