Spring has arrived with its milder weather, birds tweeting (twittering? that word has now got another meaning… should I better say chirping to avoid confusion?) and flowers blooming. Yes, its my favorite season!
Everywhere you can find splendid flower arrangements, rabbits, birds nests and eggs!
Eggs are a symbol of fertility and new life. We can find them all around and in all forms and colors. The real ones, boiled and painted, chocolate ones in foil paper, fondant ones in the classical ovoid form or as sunny side up eggs, nicely painted wooden ones, plastic eggs, and, and…
The tradition of decorating eggs and eggshells is ancient and has been practiced all along history by many cultures. I’ve just found out that the Egyptians used to put them in their tombs. The early christians used to paint them red to remember the blood of Christ.
In East European Countries like Romania, Russia, Ukraine they decorate them with filigree patterns creating small masterpieces.
In Greece, they bake a rich yeast bread usually with a red egg in it, it’s called tsoureki. Other countries like Hungary have a similar bread with eggs for Easter.What came then first the egg or the hen? It’s a never ending discussion. It depends on the starting point of the discussion and of the participants…
The egg has been inspirational for many ideas, not only coking. There is a famous nursery rime “Humpty Dumpty” by Mother Goose. If you want to have a look at the writer ;-), you can check it here:
Does it have a meaning or is it a simple a word game?
Humpty Dumpty was a colloquial term used in fifteenth century England describing someone who was obese. The image of Humpty Dumpty was made famous by the illustrations included in the ‘Alice through the looking glass’ novel by Lewis Carroll. However, Humpty Dumpty was not a person.
In nature there are thousands of different types of eggs. We usually think of the ones we know like chicken, duck, goose and maybe quail among others. There are beautiful colored ones from little birds like the blue ones of a finch. But not only birds lay eggs, fish also produce them. We enjoy them ( or rather not… yuk…) as the famous caviar. The most expensive one is the Beluga caviar form the beluga sturgeon in the Caspian See. Other types of fish caviar are also enjoyable, for example those of salmon or trout.
Moving up in the zoological scale we find humans on top. Although a woman’s ovary has about 1 million oocytes or eggs at birth, only about 500 (about 0.05%) of these ovulate while the rest are wasted. If we imagine that a healthy young man with a typical ejaculate usually produces 300-500 million spermatozoa, that would create a lot of children! However, we know that it is not that easy… Only a couple hundred spermatozoa survive in the acidic environment of the vagina to be candidates for successful fertilization.
This reminded me of Woody Allen with his always funny to watch “Everything you always wanted to know about sex…” (1972)
Continuing with fertility, sperm cells cannot divide and have a limited life span. After the fusion with egg cells during fertilization a new organism begins developing, starting as a zygote. Funny name for a baby 😉
Where does everything begin where does it end? Great thinkers like Aristotle and Plutarch proposed their own ideas on the puzzle. According to Stephen Hawking and Popular Science (the magazine), the egg came first as it evolved prior to birds.
Coming back to the egg and the hen I visualize the symbol of eternity: ∞. A world egg or cosmic egg is a creation myth of many cultures and civilizations linking the egg to birth. It embodies the idea of a silent universe, all at one bursting into activity and chaos. There is no “first” in a cyclical view of time characteristic of many cultures and religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, as well as other Dharmic religions. The belief of the wheel of time which regards time as cyclical and with repeating ages is also found in other cultures such as Mesoamerican (Aztecs, Mayan) and some native American Indians.
Let`s continue enjoying the egg in all its forms, especially in mouth watering recipes for Easter. How about…
…some eggs bendedict?
… some asparagus with sauce hollandaise?
… a tasty tortilla española
Decide for yourselves, invite some friends, cook together and enjoy 🙂
Oh, dear! I almost forgot “the bunny”! Don’t worry, you may read about “him” next week.