Thursday, April 1, 2010
EASTER TIME: REMEMBERING THE PROMISE
Some Easter memories are as fresh as if they happend last year, instead of over fifty years ago.
Our family would leave out carrots for the Easter Bunny (it never occurred to me why we always had cooked carrots with our Easter dinner.) After eating the feast of carrots, the Easter Bunny would hide our baskets some place in the house. Easter morning we would scurry around looking for the baskets overflowing with Peeps, dyed chicken eggs, a chocolate (mine was white) bunny and a stuffed animal. Before our candy would be eaten, we would get dressed for church, pose for the Brownie camera picture and go to church.
Where we lived, Easter was usually a cold day, tinged with the tease of Springtime weather. You can tell by looking at the pictures of my family all dressed up and stiffly posed that I am cold, even dressed in a fancy dress, matching coat and frilly hat. My bare legs are wrapped around each other for warmth and in some pictures my pose resembles one of a stork, with one leg tucked up close to my coat for warmth.
I remember the smell that greeted me upon entering the church. Hot candle wax mingled with the strong smell of Easter Lilies welcomed me and the other well-groomed families on Easter morning. Rustling of petticoats; squirmy boys in pressed pants, starched shirts and hand-tied bow ties; creaking wooden pews; clearing of throats; soft crackling of spearmint gum papers; and gentle shushing of attentive parents served as the warm-up for the choir's robust songs of the Season. Restlessness was eased by the Message of Hope that was delivered and received by the adults. Children were too busy mentally ravaging the waiting treats in their baskets at home to pay much attention to the sermon.
After church we would join other family members for the feast of all feast. Ham, sweet potatoes, deviled eggs, peas, baked carrots, and the other many side dishes were devoured while enjoying the company of cousins, aunts and uncles. We always had many for dinner, which meant plenty of playmates for after dinner.
To this day, the smell of Easter Lillies remind me of Easter and all of its promises. I suppose that is why at funerals, the smell of Easter Lillies is comforting, since they reassure me of the promise of eternal life. Some people don't like Easter Lillies, because they associate them with funerals, but I suppose it's a matter of perspective. I am reminded that someday I will be reunited with all who have gone before me and my Heavenly Father. What a sweet fragrance that can give me so much peace and hope.