From Alice in Wonderland's tardy White Rabbit to the petty thieving of Peter Cottontail; from Saturday Morning's mischievous Bugs Bunny to bedtime tales of the ever-wily Brer Rabbit; from long floppy ears to soft fluffy tails, bunnies populate our myths and stories like...well, like prolific little rabbits! Of course, no hare looms larger in our collective psyche than the Easter Bunny, hippity hopping down the Bunny Trail delivering those beautiful coloured eggs. But wait a minute: a rabbit delivering eggs? Wassup, doc?
This story begins with Eostre, Anglo-Saxon Goddess of the Dawn, approached one day by an ungainly, unhappy bird. A colossal mistake has been made, sobbed the bird. Her true calling was a rabbit, and it was only in bunny form that she could be herself. Sympathizing, Eostre granted the bird her wish, and in gratitude, the new bunny returned each year at Eostre's festival to lay eggs--an avian feat she apparently retained from her past. Hippity, hoppity, Eostre's on her way.
From Eostre's name we derive "east," the direction of the breaking dawn, as well as Easter, which coincides with the ancient celebration of the Vernal Equinox, when daylight begins to grow longer than the darkness of winter's night. (Linguists posit that the name is also the root of Esther, the Jewish queen celebrated at the spring festival of Purim.)
With Easter we get bright blossoms, and seeds sprouting enthusiastically in the warmth of the lengthening days. Tadpoles become frogs. All life on Earth renews itself: animals pair and mate, and the great branches of old bare trees become green again.
And the egg and the hare are symbols of this manifest regeneration, this festival of fecundity.
The consummate demonstration of potentiality, while humble and supremely delicate, the egg contains all that is necessary for new life. It is its own small universe.
And the rabbit? Well, two bunnies can make 72 bunnies in one year alone, comfortably nominating them for fertility's most contented Poster Animal. With Spring all about the wonderful, magical abundance of life, the bunny embodies not only nature's renewal, but also captures the vivacity, the joy, the playfulness of the season.
Get in touch with your Inner Easter Bunny and celebrate a new dawn: the birth of an idea, the pursuit of a goal, a fresh purpose. After all, we too maintain our own small universe; everything we need for our own expansive growth we carry within. Tap into it. Dive into it. Discover what wonderful stuff you're made of, and like Alice tumbling down the Rabbit Hole, learn to see from a novel perspective.
Feed your head.