Holi and the Woodpecker

The other day, I was pulling into my driveway and finishing a very interesting audio TED Talk. Instead of jumping out of the car and heading into the house, as usual, I sat in my car, listening to the end of the talk. Suddenly, I happened to look up, and straight in front of my car, perhaps 4 or 5 feet from my bumper, was a little tree and a little friend.

I had never seen a woodpecker before, even though I had heard them rattling the telephone poles for years and years as a child. They are beautiful little birds, with bright red heads (just like the cartoon!), sweetly chipping away at tree trunks with their long, pointed beaks.

Had I not taken the time to sit quietly and listen the Gospel of TED, I would never have seen my little woodpecker friend, but would have scared him off as soon as I opened the car door.

So Thank You and Amen to TED.

When I told my mom about the woodpecker, she said that it must be spring, since woodpeckers are a sure sign of the the wonderful season of Spring.

And, since it is 80 degrees in March this week, I think she might have been right.

So, in honor of Mr. Woodpecker and the heat wave, I would like to tell you a story, and share how others around the world celebrate the onset of Spring.

(Photo Credit: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

Once upon a time, in a land we know today as India, lived a young god-boy named Krishna. Krishna was, like all boys his age, a playful prankster, curious and full of questions about the world and its mysteries. Krishna was also wildly in love with a young girl named Radha, whose complexion was as fair as the snow, and whose love was as deep as the sea.

One day, Krishna asked his mother why Radha was so fair and he so dark. His mother, Yashoda, grinned slyly at her young son. She suggested that he might smear some color on Radha’s face, and make it any color he so desired.

And so he did.

(Photo Credit: Babu / Reuters)

(Photo Credit: K.K. Arora / Reuters)


During the Indian festival of Holi, which celebrates the beginning of Spring through the celebration of colors, lovers and friends smear each other with colorful paint to symbolize the love affair of their sacred gods and the color and beauty we call Spring.

(Photo Credit: Anupam Nath / AP)

(Photo Credit: Noah Seelam / AFP – Getty Images)

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Published in: on March 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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