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Harris Blackwood: Lord is risen, spring arrives
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I guess I could have written a column about something other than Easter, but it wouldn’t have felt right.

I like Easter for a variety of reasons. The top of the list is Easter is still largely a celebration of the resurrection of Christ.

Notwithstanding chocolate bunnies and marshmallow eggs, the commercialization hasn’t won. Nobody is rushing to open a store at mid-afternoon for an after-Easter sale. In fact, I’m not sure Easter is as big of a retail deal as it once was.

Folks don’t rush out and buy as much fine apparel for Easter as they once did. I can remember when stores were packed with folks buying a new frock for Easter. Does anyone really use the word “frock” anymore?

When we celebrate Easter is based on the phase of the moon. It’s pretty close to the real time.

Now, I don’t want to anger you, but Jesus was not born Dec. 25. There was no such thing as December or a 365-day calendar when the Lord came to be with us. The shepherds would not have sheep in the fields in the winter, nor would there be a census at that time of year. In fact, it was moved because pagans were celebrating the birth of the sun and the Pope wanted to move the celebration of Jesus' birth to counter their activity.

But enough about that.

There is something wonderful about Easter. It happens when the Earth is coming alive from its winter sleep. It is a beautiful time of year. We celebrate Easter on the Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox or the first day of spring.

Folks will show up at church on Easter that you won’t see the rest of the year. That’s OK. We will sing the happy songs about the risen Lord.

During the days leading up to Easter, we have sung sad songs such as “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” and “Via Dolorosa” a song about the day Christ walked the road to Calvary.

On Sunday, we dust off the good ones, such as “He Lives” and “Christ Arose.”

In the South, we have also dusted off our white clothes and shoes. The Southern Association of Fashion Police have ordained proper people will not wear white between Labor Day and Easter. Our friends up north think the more appropriate starting day for wearing white is Memorial Day.

Think about it, we get an extra two months of wearing white. It is yet another benefit of living in the South. But that’s a column for another day.

A handful of pretty ladies will also don a festive hat for Easter Sunday. I’ve seen a few on display in stores, so I know they’ll be out there. A woman with a festive hat is a defacto Easter princess. Go for it!

But it is a day that gives us a reason to gather with family. Somebody’s grandmother has been busy this week shining the good silver and china. It is as if her table is dressed up for the holiday.

Brag on her pretty table. She worked hard on that and the Easter ham that is heating up in the oven.

It’s a wonderful day and I hope you enjoy it as much as I will.


Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on


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