Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter!



There is a centuries-old Easter tradition of blessing the food in Poland that is practiced by most Poles and Catholics of Polish origin throughout the world. 

On the Holy Saturday - the day after Good Friday - Polish families prepare a baskets of victuals that are to be blessed by priests in parish churches.

The basket is usually lined with elaborately embroidered white linen napkin and decorated with sprigs of the ever green boxwood. Sometimes sprigs of pussy willows are also used to decorate not only the Easter basket, but also the table.

Food may vary from region to region, but most families would put naturally died Easter eggs, a chunk of sourdough bread, salt and pepper, a piece of smoked sausage, a piece of Easter cake, and an Easter lamb usually made of white sugar. Sometimes wine, vinegar and horse radish are also blessed.

The Easter holidays follow after a forty-day long period of fasting and self denial.  The suffering of Christ and his sacrifice, resurrection, renewal and gratitude are in the center of  Easter celebrations

Each item in the Easter basket has a symbolic meaning.  Easter egg, for instance, is an ancient symbol of fertility and new life. Bread and salt are the foods that sustain life. Wine symbolizes the blood of Christ. Vinegar, pepper, and horse radish represent the bitter "herbs" which foretold the Crucifixion. Meat symbolizes the resurrection and Christ's victory over death. The lamb is a symbol of the sacrificial Pascal lamb. The Easter cake symbolizes the end of fast. After a long period of Lent it is time to indulge and enjoy the life again. 

The baskets are blessed on Saturday and are usually placed on a table on Easter Sunday when families gather together to share the blessed food after the Easter Mass. 

Although death of Christ on the cross is by no means a joyful event, it has a very deep symbolic meaning. His passion, suffering and sacrifice lead to redemption of sins. This is itself is a reason for everlasting joy.  

Even if you are not religious, Easter is a time of new beginning. It is a time of forgiveness and joy, but also a time for deeper reflection on the meaning of life.

Wishing everyone happy and peaceful Easter Holidays - Dominique Allmon

Image source here

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Madness!


Not an Easter Bunny
Not an Easter Bunny!

Few months ago when I was writing an article in defense of the Christmas tree a thought occurred to me that the Easter was actually spared all the controversy that Christmas was facing in America. Were they going to outlaw the Easter egg as well? Was the Easter egg to become a Spring egg or a holiday egg or something of that sort?

Sooner than I could even envision an organized anti-Easter campaign a principal of the Heritage Elementary School in Madison, Alabama has banned the use of the word Easter in her school insisting that calling a bunny an Easter bunny or an egg an Easter egg infringed on the rights of others. The Principal Lydia Davenport explained the move, saying, “Kids love the bunny and we just try to make sure that we don’t say the ‘Easter Bunny’ so that we don’t infringe on the rights of others, because people relate the Easter bunny to religion.” Pure idiocy! 

And if this does not make you scream I don't know what does. But things can really get much nastier than that. 

In Florida an university professor, Dr. Deandre Poole who teaches Intercultural Communications, makes students stomp on Jesus. During his class students were instructed to write the word "Jesus" on a piece of paper and then place it on the floor and stomp on it. When one student refused to do it because he considered the assignment insulting and offensive, he got suspended from the class. 

The stomping activity was part of a suggested exercise found in the instructor’s manual accompanying the classroom textbook. The exercise was devised to teach students the importance of symbols in culture so why all the big fuss over it. But wait. What if the students were asked to write "Allah" or "Mohamed" on a piece of paper and then stomp on it? Can you imagine the outrage that would have spread around the world if a word of it got out?

Dr. Poole did not pick up the word "Allah" for his exercise because he was smart enough to understand that every Muslim cleric around the world would have declared a fatwa against him. This would have meant an end of his career as he would have had to go into hiding if he wanted to stay alive.

The voices against Christians and their rituals are becoming louder and louder in America and I really wonder why. This phenomenon is unknown in Europe.

Why do progressives of this world think that it is all right to insult Christians, but show utmost sensitivity and respect to other religions at the same time?

Are Christians an easy target because they do not behead artists who immerse crucifixes in their own urine?

Normally, the Christians' bashing goes unnoticed, but this time Florida Governor Mr. Rick Scott demanded a formal investigation into this matter. 

For all we know symbols may be quite arbitrary, but they assume very strong, emotional meaning for those who know how to read them.  

I will leave you here to reflect on the state of society we are living in.

By Dominique Allmon

      

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wabi Sabi

Old umbrella
Wabi sabi describes a traditional Japanese aesthetic sensibility based on an appreciation of the transient beauty of the natural world. It embodies the melancholic appeal of the impermanence of all things, especially the modest, the rustic, the imperfect, and even the decayed. Wabi sabi represents the passage of time and what remains. - Donna Watson

         


Image source here 
Quote source here

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Broken Hearts Club



From time to time I see adds plastered onto supermarkets walls or lamp posts by desperate cats owners whose cats went missing. These ads usually include a mug shot of the missing cat and a plea of a heart-broken owner with a promise of reward. 

The owners have my sympathy and I always wonder whether they will ever see their missing cats again. 

There is something ambiguous about cat lovers. They love cats because cats are independent and adventurous, but lose their minds and suffer as soon as their darlings decide to have some adventure and disappear for a week or so.

Madame M. planning her escape
 Madame M. planning her escape

It has been almost eight months since our Madame M. went missing. She disappeared short before our other cat, the Agent Orange, got sick. She does not even know that her playful companion is not among the living anymore. She does not even know that he was desperately looking for her before he died. Back then I even thought that our little orange kitten might have recovered from his sickness if she only showed up. But she never did and he seemed to have given up any fight for his own life.  

When Madame M. moved in with us a few years ago we thought that she was an alley cat. But now that she has been missing for such a long time I think that she might have had another owner before. She probably abandoned people who loved her and taking off in search of a new home. 

She was a very capricious cat who managed to break our hearts more than once before. She would bid a farewell to James and disappear for days or weeks at a time. She would leave us worrying day and night because there were so many predators out there. Bad humans, dogs, cars, coyotes, snakes, falcons and owls...

Then, one day, she would show up on our porch as if nothing had ever happened. We could not even berate the wretched cat, so grateful were we that she made it back home unharmed.

However, the last time she bade farewell to James, it felt like it was for good. We hoped every day to see her again, but we shared a feeling that she would never come back. 

Although heartbroken, we still hope that she found herself a new home because a thought of her being snatched by an owl or swallowed by a snake is simply even less bearable. 

By Dominique Allmon ©2013


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Healing with Vitamins

 

Many chronic conditions can be alleviated with nutrition and nutritional supplements. The FDA suggested daily doses of nutrients. These doses are minimal, but necessary in order to maintain health and avoid disease. For those who suffer from chronic disorders the doses of nutrients have to be increased in order to correct imbalances or alleviate conditions caused by lifestyle choices and inadequate nutrition. 

When purchasing a nutritional supplement, consider its bio-availability. Choose food state supplements, preferably raw, freeze-dried fruit and vegetable extracts. 

Nutritional supplements are vital, but it is absolutely necessary to remember that they can never replace a wholesome diet. Increase consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables and detoxify on regular basis to alkalize your body. This is vital as the pathogens can only thrive in highly acidic, poorly oxygenated environment. 

In radiant health,

Dominique Allmon

Also of interest: Do We Really Need Nutritional Supplements?