16 April, 2006

Happy Easter!

Whether it's about a sunrise service or Easter Eggs with the kids, may today be a day of joy and peace and renewal for you.

For some reason, as Easter has approached this year I've been thinking a lot about the past. In my childhood, Easter had mostly secular connotations, as our church didn't follow the liturgical calendar at all (Easter was considered to be "too Catholic," to receive much calendar-based focus, probably). When I learned as an adult about the secular connections to fertility and spring, I thought that was pretty cool. And when I became a church organist and participated in liturgical celebrations of the Easter season, I found the focus and discussions of light and darkness to be throught-provoking and inspiring: it was so powerful and freeing to finally be able to say "Alleluia!" again after Lent. I haven't been a church organist for three years now, and I find I miss it very much during the Advent and Easter seasons, feeling somehow out of sorts that the year marches on past without the marking of time by the church calendar.

In my house, Easter baskets were a family affair, not just for the children. Though money was usually tight and healthfulness was a concern, every family member had an Easter basket with some chocolate, a chocolate bunny, jelly beans, and a little toy. It would usually be hidden somewhere in the house, sometimes with a treasure-hunt of clues leading to its location. I have a vivid memory of finding my easter basket in wacky places, such as the dryer. When my father died while my sister and I were pre-teens, we continued the tradition for my mother. I particularly remember tying her Easter basket to a string and lowering it over the side of the balcony of our 2nd-floor condominium in San Diego (No, she never found that one! We had to show it to her). Even for years after I left home, my mother would send me an Easter basket in the mail. Like all good holiday memories, those of Easter are all about family for me.

Whatever your traditions and method of celebration, may you all have a blessed, joyful and playful Easter!