Thursday, October 20, 2016

Random thoughts that really made me go hmmmmmm

My husband was telling me about a conversation at work around Halloween.  He was telling a coworker that it was my favorite holiday and I love to decorate the outside of the house for it.  She said it wasn't a real holiday.  And his response was if I can decorate for it, it is a holiday to me. 

So I looked it up.  I was curious about the origin.  Of course it is more than likely another holiday "stolen" by the Christians to thwart other beliefs.  And it is considered a Christian holiday.  Which I was totally fascinated by since many ultra conservative Christians won't allow their children to celebrate because it is a holiday of the devil.  You know, those pesky witches..........

Anyway, more to the point of my random thoughts on my drive home was around what would I do as a parent.  I don't believe in a god but I do have a great reverence for the natural world.  From both a scientific perspective and for Mother Nature.  I am in awe of what this planet and the universe does simply by existing.  I can't and won't attribute it to any single great plan or being.  My belief is far bigger than that. 

That said, I celebrate in a more Pagan way.  I celebrate Halloween as the time of the harvest, the time when nature is heading to bed so to speak.  And I love the idea of celebrating those that are gone.  The All Souls part of the holiday.  Trick or Treating is fun for me because the kids love it so much.  They get to use their imaginations to become someone or something else for a night.  They get to run around outside and visit their neighbors.  It is the one night they are allowed to skip "stranger danger".  It is the one night of the year they are truly allowed to be "free".

Then, Christmas.  I don't celebrate it for the Christian reason.  I celebrate that time of year for what it is.  The turning of the natural cycle.  Winter Solstice.  It is the start of the earth's renewal.  The days begin to get longer.  The start of hope for spring begins.  And I love that.  I love the quiet of winter.  The falling snow. My decorations lean toward lights and snowmen.  To bring some light into the long dark days.  But to enjoy what winter offers.  And find beauty and peace in all of nature's cycles. 

Easter, same thing, I celebrate the Pagan rights of spring.  I celebrate renewal.  That the earth has woken back up, and will burst forth in all her growing glory.

I would never force religion on my children.  Instead I would teach them to think for themselves, to find what they want to  believe in.  I would teach them to be kind for the simple reason that it is the right thing to do.  I would try very hard to raise them color blind.  To raise them to see all people for who they are, not what they are.  Judge a person by their actions, not by their skin color.  Let people be who they want to be.  Love who they want to love.  And as they meet people, learn and explore the world, then they can decide if religion is right for them.  And which one is right for them. 

As they make those choices though how do you raise them to not feel left out of traditions so many people partake in.  How do I take them to Grandma's house and explain Christmas and church.  How do I not color their impressions.  I have no clue how I would do any of that. 

Ultimately it doesn't matter.  We chose not to be parents so it is a conundrum I will never have to deal with.  But still, what would I have told little Nick or Maggie?  I wonder............

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