Posts Tagged With: history

Happy Eostre

Spring time at stonehenge

Eostre was originally a Pagan festival, with it’s roots in the Norse and Germanic ritual of the Vernal Equinox, or Spring. It’s heartening to know that ancient man had an instinctive respect for Mother Nature, thousands of years before the spread of Christianity. It’s only comparatively recently in our history that the traditions of Eostre were adapted by modern religions.

The Rites of Spring and also Harvest show an understanding of the planet which sustains us, and the Sun and the Earth were worshipped as the givers of life.  As we pollute and over-populate our world and regard our own planet with cynicism, I wonder if a return to a more spiritual innocence might be the salvation our ecology needs. Organised religions become increasingly redundant as they fail to embrace the human condition. True spirituality means a respect for the planet, and for each other, and yet distracted religious figureheads still make astonishingly ill-judged comments about contraception. If that energy could be focused on our future on Earth rather than the obsessive, hand-wringing preoccupation with the sex lives of others, then we might actually be able to sustain the planet we live on.

Stephen Hawking says that if we continue to expand at our current rate, then our future lies only in the stars and our window for the colonisation of other planets is less than two hundred years. Is our tenancy on Earth due to end? Is it impossible to reverse the damage that we’re doing? In the spirit of Eostre, fertility and rebirth, we need to consider renewable clean energy, such as Solar Power, stop poisoning the bees with chemicals and seriously consider the size of our population.

I don’t want to be one of the last of the Earth-dwellers: Easter should be about the celebration of nature and awareness of our position in the ecology of Earth. Not zombies in diapers.

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Spring in the Park

Escape from the City!
Swan Heaton Park Manchester
daffodils heaton park manchester
Heaton Park Welcome Sign

I’m first from the starting gun when the sun comes out and we hit the nearest park, desperate for ultra-violet rays and proof that flowers are actually growing. I know I said we’d be stopping off at the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (see previous post) but there’s the tiniest crease in the fabric of space and time which takes us from the kaleidoscopic colour of Park Güell in Spain to… Heaton Park in north Manchester, England.

Caution Horned Livestock Warning Sign

This is yet another chance for me to wave the Union Jack – this time, while sunbathing. Culture shock, maybe, but I suggest you grab your sunglasses and get a load of this: it’s a Scottish Highland Cow. Or bull, as both male and female have horns. Also the oldest known registered breed of cattle. I wasn’t expecting to come face to face with a horned beast (not on a Wednesday afternoon and certainly not in broad daylight) and was kind of hoping for something more like an ice-cream van.

highland cattle heaton park manchester
Heaton Hall has been here in one form or another since 1684, and the grounds were designed in the style of Capability Brown, England’s finest landscape architect in 1839. It’s the largest park in Europe.
Heaton Hall Column Manchester
Stone columns Heaton Park Manchester
swan lake heaton park manchesterStone pillar Heaton Hall Manchester
The funfair was in town…
Fairground Ride Heaton Park

Fairground ride heaton park manchester
There’s a beautiful boating lake, with an island in the middle, full of ducks and geese and swans.
Goose grooming itself heaton park manchester

I tried to make this one look like an old postcard from the 70s, partly because the brightly coloured train which drives around the park is like something out of The Magic Roundabout.
Heaton Park Train
flowers heaton park manchester
mark leaning on stone pillars heaton park

If you liked this, then my previous post from Park Güell in Barcelona will completely blow your mind…Get some colour!

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