When I was a child Easter mornings were spent at the Methodist Church where my parents sang in the choir. On Easter the choir sang at both the early and the late morning services, so we were there for hours. I remember the banks of Easter lilies and their heavy perfume and the choir, joyfully belting "Christ, the Lord, is risen todaa-ay, Ha-a-allee-luh-hallelu-u-jah!" The church was always full to overflowing and the congregants resplendent in flowery hats and fluffy pastel dresses and my sister, brother, and I, dressed in our own Easter finery, would patiently endure the two long services, waiting for the return home to our baskets filled with jelly beans and cellophane grass and a chocolate rabbit. The eggs we had dyed and decorated were hidden and hunted repeatedly through the afternoon. Once, when I was in college, I spent Easter at my roommate's parents' home in McCall, Idaho, a charming little mountain village. The snow was piled higher than our heads along the winding streets as we made our way to the little Episcopal Church in our pastel suits and wide-brimmed hats. Our first trip to Ecuador coincided with Easter and we saw the celebration from the whole new-to-us perspective of the somber and ancient South American commemoration of Semana Santa and Easter.
I haven't been to church on Easter for many, many years. But I always dye eggs and cut daffodils for the table and I always think of Easter as the promise of spring, even in the years when there is rain or even snow. Today was spring in all its verdant, fragrant, balmy glory. My old friend, Paula, and her family came to our house for an Easter egg hunt. Ray and Norm hid more than 40 eggs outdoors and her two visiting grandchildren and my two scampered around collecting plastic eggs and real eggs while four parents and four grandparents and Uncle Andy hovered with their cameras clicking. Four sweet and beautiful children, happy parents, sunshine, Easter eggs. Near perfection.
New friends, Will and Sofia
After brunch the kids played in the yard while the adults talked and laughed and drank coffee on the deck and soaked in the miraculous sunshine. It might have been the best Easter ever.