Jump the Fire!

A few days ago we passed one of the quarter days. Scientists refer to it as the vernal equinox. It is the day when there are the same number of daylight hours as night hours. It is the first official day of spring. The ancients called it Ishtar, from which we get the name Easter, and it was celebrated as a coming back to life of a world gone dormant for winter. The church chose this time to celebrate the triumph of Jesus over death as he was crucified for his beliefs, then in three days was once again alive among his students and friends. Country folks celebrate it as the time to turn the earth, and plant seeds and transplants into the garden in order to produce vegetables for the family. My family has Long been inclined to celebrate these quarter days with fiestas, cooking, bonfires, storytelling and leaping over the fire. It comes from our Scottish roots, one part of our genetics. It seems that mixed in with the German, Native American, Spanish, and even English, we all have varying degrees of Scottish running through our strands of DNA. Even my compadre, who thinks he may be descended from Spanish explorers, found in his cheek swab none other than Scottish genes, among others! This year we are a little more low-key, and as the sun set on a perfect spring day we built a campfire of Mesquite, and sat around quietly viztin’. Of course we all jumped over the fire three times – it’s tradition!

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