The Saturday before Easter Sunday was always a favorite day growing up. The new dresses and new slips that were scratchy and very poofy were hung up in readiness. My sister Nancy's and my hair was washed and in curlers. I personally was grateful for the kindly person who invented sponge rollers back in the day because honestly the brush ones with the pink stick pins were very painful going in and impossible to sleep on!
My Mom would be making the green jello salad in preparation for the Easter feast. No one outside of our immediate family which included my cousins Wayne and Lee and Aunt Lue would touch the stuff. It had green jello of course and cottage cheese and pineapple and miracle whip and walnuts and horseradish. Yep. Horseradish. I still love it. We would set the table for dinner for the next day and wait. Wait for? The EASTER BUNNY!
Here's where I would get confused. I knew that Easter from a church going stand point was a pretty big deal. What with the choir singing and special talks and everyone wearing new clothes! Not to mention you would see folks there that you had never seen the entire year before. There was quite a bit of discussion about Jesus Christ who I was really fond of and felt such horror and awe for what he went through for all of us. Even those of us that the rest of us wouldn't have bothered with so much. Including and especially as my teacher explained a woman who was a HARLOT! Yes, I was the only one who felt compelled to inquire of the rather sweaty and toothsome Brother Tolman what a harlot was. He rocked back in forth on his wing tips and as he did so the buttons on his shirt in the mid-section strained to such an extent that the poor kid in front of me was in danger of losing an eye. Being told that a harlot was a woman who was free with her affections did not help my understanding remotely so of course I brought it up over dinner which, if memory serves, provided quite a bit of entertainment for the assembled family! But I digress.
For the life of me I could not wrap my head around the sudden shouting throughout Saturday evening during the Lawrence Welk Show that we had just missed seeing the Easter bunny hop over our fence into the neighbors yard with a big basket of eggs. At the same time trying to tie in the bunny with the story of Jesus' sacrifice for all of us so that we could, in fact, return home to that Heavenly place from whence we came.
Easter morning we were up early to search high and low for the Easter baskets and plastic eggs that the bunny had left. Thank goodness my sister was good at finding things because I was useless in this regard. After Nancy found my basket and her basket and I was pointed in the direction of a few eggs they were placed on the table not to be touched until after church and after Easter dinner. In each basket was...sigh...a very large See's Chocolate egg. Holy moly.
Sharing these memories via blog post may seem a bit self-indulgent, I am o.k. with that. As a writer and a dedicated student of why I am here, I find I have to look backwards at where I came from and where I have been and who I have journeyed with to draw the conclusions necessary for my forward progress.
Do I have any answers today between the blessed story of Christ's resurrection and the white rabbit with the easter eggs? Not so much except that both stories represent Spring. Spring represents a renewal and a blessed fresh beginning. Perhaps it provides us with an opportunity to claim hope as our code word. Hope is our key to think and speak and act with love.
As a grown up and with grown children I am still so taken with the lessons of Jesus Christ. The template of love that He provided to all of us is so beautiful. I am also grateful for the other Masters who reflect this same template of love for others in all that we say and do.
As for the Easter Bunny? I would like to tell you that the magic for me has faded with my many years. That would not be the truth. I can still see him out of the corner of my eye with a basket full of eggs. Magic and love, love and magic. It is all part of this beautiful and complicated journey we are taking together.
However you celebrate. Do so with love and lots of magic.