Although written years ago, it rings true today……
Easter is my favorite time of year. Not Christmas or Thanksgiving.
It is without a doubt, Easter.
It signals the beginning of Spring, the awaking of a new season and the end of the liturgical year. Ordinary time begins.
When I was a young girl, the signal of the Easter season was the announcement that we were going to the department stores to buy our Easter Outfits. A time when my sisters and I would go with my mother to pick out a flowery dress, white patent leather shoes with a purse to match, and white gloves. Of course, the outfit wouldn’t be complete without a hat. One with a flower on it.
This probably launched my obsession with fashion and buying the best I could get my hands on. I would start in February looking through the J.C. Penny catalogue, scoping out the pages to find the perfect outfit. I would circle the little girl models wearing the dresses I was interested in, what I would hope my mom would buy instead of make. As a twelve year old girl, laying on my stomach while watching t.v., I would alternate between Dark Shadows and the Big Book, hoping to find the perfect dress while feeding my infatuation for Quentin Collins. When I was old enough to wear my first ¼ inch heels, I felt like I had arrived, a true woman. I would walk around the block like I had somewhere important to be, practicing walking in “heels.” The neighbors must have thought I was nuts, muttering to themselves there goes that goofy Loveman girl again. I didn’t care.
The Easter basket of candy is also the reward for the lenten denial of chocolate. Every year I would await the “arrival” of the Easter Bunny, who always rang the doorbell of our house, right before he hopped away after depositing mine and my sibling’s baskets. I was intent on catching him one Easter, so determined was I that I awoke at 4:00 a.m. and waited near the door. I found out later my father had to sneak out the back door to go around the house to ring the front doorbell, as I stood outside watching for the darned bunny who had eluded me once again! How did he get away so quickly? Up one side of the street and down the other, my eyes never noticed Dad laughing crouched down in the bushes.
But perhaps the most vivid arrival of the Easter season is the announcement of the Easter flowers. They appear everywhere, in front of Walmart, on the corner near the gas stations, in every drug store. Flower shops and greenhouses are great meccas of joy for me. They fill up my senses with the sweetness and aroma of a world somewhere else, where all things are good and all people are kind. I could walk for hours up and down the aisle, just taking in the beauty. I love Tulips and Mums, but my favorite flower is the Hydrangea, the second favorite the Lilac. How lucky for me that I ended up in Rochester, the Lilac capital of the world, even boasting a festival!
It is a small miracle to walk into my house and smell the flowers left there by my children, who know of my passion for the smells and emotions of Easter. Sometimes they are in pots, sometimes in bunches or in vases. Some are even wild, like they have been pulled from someone’s yard. When they were younger, they would wrap them in wet toilet tissue and leave them on the kitchen table. I didn’t care. I love flowers almost as much as the children who have found them for me, even though they are no longer little and would scoff at giving me anything wrapped in wet toilet tissue. They are the most poignant and truest expression of love I can receive and I look forward to their arrival every year.
Happy Easter to my children and my friends, both past and future. May you experience the true beauty of the Easter season, receiving the expression of love you deserve.