There has been a lot written the last few weeks about how early Easter Sunday is this year, but I didn't really realize the proximity of it to the end of winter until just the last couple of days ago when Price held it's St. Patrick's Day and then I realized that Easter was next weekend.
This realization came despite the fact that I put together the calendar for the end of the month that is published each month in the Sun Advocate. So much for feeling in touch with the times.
On my desk at this moment is an email I got from someone about the earliness of the day. It seems it is the earliest it has been in years, actually in many years. And in fact it won't be this early again in anyones life who is living now. The last time Easter fell on such an early date was in 1913, and obviously there are very few people still around that were alive then, much less that can remember it.
Easter can occur as early as March 22 (one day before this years date), which in most peoples book is also the last day of winter or the first day of spring depending on how you look at the time the seasons change on that day.
The formula for when Easter occurs is based on a lot of factors, which I won't pretend to understand, but it has something to do with the lunar calendar rather than the Roman calendar that we all use in this country. Some other parts of the world have other calendars they follow too, so I am guessing anyone who observes Easter in those areas are just as confused as many of us are.
Apparently the next time Easter will be as early as it is this year (March 23) will be in the year 2228. I will be 276 years old then and if I make it that far I will celebrate it with relish. Maybe I will go four wheeling on the single acre of ground we will have left on which we can do that.
However, the next time it will occur on March 22 will be in the year 2285, or 277 years from now. That means, based on the oldest living people today, the next born that could experience that date will not come into this world until about 2178. That's a lot of generations of Easter Bunny's away from us.
Easter has always been a time of new beginnings for many people. For Christians it is one of the most sacred holidays, and the observance of it is defined by their celebration. Over the years the secular part of our society has changed the observance of it immensely, much like Christmas.
Regardless, it is a milestone in the year; a kind of new beginning as the trees begin to bud, and the flowers sprout through the winter worn soil.
Or being this early with the cold temperatures and some snow still around maybe not. Obviously, Easter isn't supposed to be in April, any more than March.
But our memories have just made it so we expect it that way.