Dear Diary,

Easter has meant a lot of things to me throughout the course of my life. When I was young, it was family gatherings and egg hunts with pastel-clad cousins running in every direction. It was ham and scalloped potatoes and enough deviled eggs to leave me with a stomach ache. It was confusion about a man who died and rose again three days later—a borderline creepy story that left me unsettled at night.

When I grew a bit older, I leaned into Easter and the story of the Resurrection. I believed in it wholeheartedly for a long time. I never fully understood it, but we’re not meant to understand everything, are we?

When my kids were small, Easter was dyeing eggs and preparing baskets full of chocolates and jelly beans and Sour Patch Kids. It was visiting a nightmare-inducing, overgrown bunny. It was dressing them up for church so they could hear the same stories that intrigued and confused me as a child. It was singing the first soprano part of the Hallelujah Chorus.

Today, it’s just a roast in the Crock Pot; time to write and create; and a quiet, cool, overcast day. My mom used to say that it always rains on Good Friday, and the sun always shines on Easter. It was what she wanted to believe, even if it wasn’t necessarily true. 

There have been many things I’ve wanted to believe in. When I was small, I wanted my stuffed animals to come to life. I believed that if I prayed hard enough, they would. I never really understood why some prayers were answered and some weren’t. 

When I nearly lost Gus 24 years ago, people said he was a miracle baby, that god saved him because of steadfast and devoted prayer. I wanted to believe that, too, but what kind of god saved my baby and let the baby next to him die? What kind of god allowed the Rwandan genocide to happen? What kind of god thinks it’s okay to let innocent kids suffer through cancer? What kind of god walked so many humans to their deaths at Auschwitz? What kind of god thought glioblastoma was a good idea?

I’ve been up and down and all around my faith. I’ve been inside of it, outside of it, and I have looked at it from a great distance. I have believed strongly, and I have lost my religion altogether. And for today, at least for today, I have landed here: If there is something bigger than all of us, it looks nothing like the traditional god I was raised with.

If there is a god, I imagine she’s kinder, gentler, and more inclusive. I imagine she inhabits the trees and the grass and the sky and the seas. I imagine she laughs with wild abandon and wipes away your tears, as a good friend would. If I am to emulate a god, it would be her.

But I don’t really believe in a god anymore. I believe that my purpose here is simple: To be kind to animals and children and neighbors and strangers. To tip servers abundantly. To accept those that others don’t. To love everyone, regardless of how they look or dress. To withhold judgment. To be kind.

Kindness, I think, is my god. And although I fail at it every day, I also try every day to be better.

When we know better, we do better.

I believe in science and evolution and the wisdom of great minds before me. 

And no one else has to believe the way I do. No one. That’s the beauty of belief.

It’s a personal journey.

I sometimes hope there is more than just life on this earth. There is so much we have yet to discover outside of this little blue planet. But I don’t necessarily believe there is. Hope and belief are different to me. I want to remain open to the possibilities, and I don’t want to be locked into one, finite belief system that says my way rather than a way.

The Universe is far too vast for that.

I want to be open to the unknown. To the wonder. To the intrigue. To the magic. To what might be instead of what I proclaim to know for sure.

Because I know nothing for sure.

And that is where I learn and grow the most.

Whatever you celebrate today, make it good. And if there’s a Reese’s egg involved, even better.

Love, Katrina

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3 Responses

  1. Beautiful! My believes are very similar to yours, and I’ve also had similar struggles in my exploration/unpacking of religion. I too have settled on believing in kindness and in doing the best we can as much as we are able to do so. Thank you for this lovely, relatable piece and for continuing to write.

    1. *beliefs (gah!) Also, the last photo… Such kind and twinkly eyes!! I aspire to look like this when I’m older.

    2. Organized religion can be tough… and sometimes traumatic. I hope, ultimately, we’re all just doing the best we can. 🙂 Thanks for your sweet comment about my mom. She was truly a gem. It’s a tired cliche, but “to know her is to love her” truly described my sweet, funny mom. <3

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