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The Gift of Spring Year-Round

Red Willow Sunrise Earrings

This is a weekend sacred to multiple traditions in the outside world: Passover, and, of course, Easter. The latter is celebrated among European Pagan traditions, too, albeit as Ostara, the root of the word now applied to the Christian holiday.

Most of the Pueblo marks this day as Easter, too, albeit with some differences from the way in which the dominant culture does so.

Wings and I approach the day a bit differently.

We were both raised with Christianity, and thus with Easter as a holiday, and so it would seem odd to let the day go by entirely unremarked. We observe it in our own way, though: Our church is earth and sky; our inspiration, the light; our offering, that which we set out for the spirits with our evening meal. And I always make a special meal, if not an overly elaborate one.

As a cultural phenomenon for the world outside of ours, Easter effectively marks the point at which spring has fully gained traction. That’s perhaps more wishful thinking than tangible reality; we will likely have at least a couple more snows here, albeit the sort that melt in a day or less. Last night was remarkable for its relative warmth — the temperature dropped only two more degrees between bedtime and dawn — but that’s an anomaly here at any time of year. Red Willow is a place where the mercury is more likely to swing forty to fifty degrees than five or fewer.

The unusually warm temperature did bring us one gift, however: that of light but low clouds that would deliver, first, an unusually colorful sunrise for early spring, and then a softly gray day marked mostly by its essential mildness. In a season when a harshly bright sun more usually pairs with equally harsh and even dangerous winds, today’s weather is a special blessing.

And the dawn was particularly well-suited to today’s featured work. That’s no small thing; sunrise here in early spring is normally a plain affair, a thin blue sky backlit by blinding silvery light, with no clouds to provide color or contrast. On this day, there were both, with dawn robed in the same coral and silver as the earrings featured today. From their description in the Earrings Gallery here on the site:

Red Willow Sunrise Earrings

To experience a Red Willow sunrise is to live through a moment of magic, utterly ephemeral and yet somehow timeless. Wings honors the beauty of the dawn in this place with these earrings wrought in an old traditional Native style. Each drop is crafted as a single concha, stamped across the front with the rays of the light rising over the sacred peaks, then domed repoussé-fashion from the reverse. Set in saw-toothed bezels, slightly off-center on opposing sides at the top of each earrings, a small round cabochon of warm red natural coral glows like Father Sun in the first moments of the day. Each earring is 1″ across; each cabochon is 3/16″ across (dimensions approximate).

Sterling silver; natural coral
$325 + shipping, handling, and insurance

Spring is, in effect, the sunrise of the year — that moment when the lengthening light washes over a cold and dormant land, warming it, bringing it once again to life. Here on this bit of earth, we are fortunate: Even the most ordinary sunrise is a spectacle, a brilliant work of cosmic art. But once in a while, even now, we are blessed with a truly phenomenal dawn — phenomenal in the literal sense of the word.

If spring is the return of the light, a Red Willow sunrise is, in its way, the gift of spring year-round.

~ Aji








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