Easter comes as the great green tide of spring sweeps northward. The most holy of Christian beliefs will be celebrated with services in churches in Chittenden County and across the world. Christ is risen and ascends to Heaven. Thousands of years ago the ancients believed Persephone, Greek goddess of the underworld, rose from the sea to celebrate the return of the sun god. Others believed Estre, goddess of spring and fertility, rose from the darkness of the earth to celebrate her festival day, the vernal equinox, the day of joy when the sun begins its swing north. The pagan beliefs of darkness into light were carried over into the Christian faith of Christs rise from the darkness of the tomb into the light of heaven the renewal of spring. These ancient beliefs of the centuries are now ours, ours from the Greeks, the Romans, the Persians, the Germans, the Armenians. That cute little bunny rabbit in the Easter basket is the ancient symbol of fertility, mans eternal pursuit. Those Easter eggs are colored in bright hues to symbolize the sunlight of spring. The egg is the symbol of life everlasting. Even the hot cross buns of Good Friday, or their equivalent, were features in pagan rites of spring. Easter, what does it mean to you, the descendant of generations of believers, in one faith or another? Renewed faith? Early church on Easter morning? Bright Easter eggs? A gay new Easter bonnet? A postscript: The date today for Easter was set 500 years ago as the Sunday after the first full moon after the Equinox on March 20, 21, or 22. In the year 2299, Easter will fall on Sunday, April 16.