Lately I’ve been writing about how Easter evolved from its pagan predecessor Eostre. In my wife’s childhood home Good Friday meant strict observance of Jesus’ sacrifice with quiet reflection, house cleaning, no meat eating, no phone calls to friends and definitely no playing. But for our kids today Jesus’ story is no longer their story – to them Easter is not Stations of the Cross but camping, hot cross buns and a frenzied Easter egg hunt with friends.
And as Easter’s power fades it’s interesting to see our collective focus on Easter Mass shifting to ANZAC dawn services, coalescing around the stories of men and women who fought and sacrificed in Gallipoli, the Western Front and Kokoda. Touchstones however are fluid – the stories we honour today through recent Australians of the Year are still about battles and sacrifice, but battles fought closer to home – they include Adam Goodes’ stand for Indigenous recognition or Rosie Batty’s fight against family violence.
On Beck Feiner’s Aussie Legends poster hanging in our toilet at home her honoured heroes include an athlete, Cathy Freeman, a doctor, Fred Hollows, an Indigenous activist Eddie Mabo, a wildlife documentary maker, Steve Irwin, even a news reader, Lee Lin Chin.
Times change, stories change and in the future as our collective story turns to saving the planet from ourselves, perhaps we’ll be eating spicy buns honouring the tales of the men and women who regenerated our soils, who sequestered carbon from the air, who cleaned our oceans and rivers and finally helped us re-imagine ourselves as people of the land not its owners.