Yesterday’s post looked at a few of the different aspects of Easter and prompted a comment about the goddess Eostre, who may or may not have been an invention of the eight century monk, the Venerable Bede.
This reminded me once more that the ‘new life’ of Easter is not just about the Christian resurrection, but is also linked with fertility.
From there, my mind jumped to the etymological link with oestrus and oestrogen.
Since the consumption of chocolate is supposed to help boost oestrogen levels, it makes sense that it’s a go-to consolation food for so many women just prior to, and during, their menstrual cycle. And it also makes chocolate Easter eggs a very fitting treat for Eostre’s festival.
I didn’t celebrate Easter with chocolate, nor with Simnel cake or rabbit pie, but I was given a pot plant yesterday. Although the gift was prompted by a completely unrelated reason, it also seemed to link to Easter fertility, as the word orchid is derived from the Greek word orchis, meaning ‘testicle’.
And now, since yesterday was decidedly lacking in chocolate, this seems the most suitable poem from my files to include today:
What’s it like? he asks, as she suddenly
strips off her cardigan and morphs the TV guide
into a makeshift fan. It’s winter;
doesn’t it have advantages?
At 5 am, she thrusts the quilt aside; bare feet
and legs jut from the bed and she fights
the pillow, desperate to find a patch of cool.
Does it hurt at all? What do you feel?
She tears her hair back from her face, swearing
she’ll have it all cut off. Does your temperature
actually rise? He stifles thoughts of contagion,
stretches a tentative hand to her brow, and wonders
how to harness all the unexploited natural energy
of menopausal flushes round the world.