Sunday, March 27, 2016

One early Easter morning

Easter breakfast
When I was in children’s or youth choice back home in Chicago, we sang an Easter song that began, “One early Easter morning, I wakened with the birds/And all around me lay silence/Too deep for earthly words.” That’s about what happened this morning. After a restless night—I don’t sleep well when I know I have to get up—the alarm went off at 5:30. I turned on the TV waiting for weather reports and was rewarded with paid programming. But finally a weatherman came on, said it was 58 degrees and a cold front with rain was expected about ten. Super! Substituted the warm sweater and shawl I’d laid out for a lighter cotton sweater and a vest. It was comfortable and calm when we set out, though a series of mishaps made us almost late—I couldn’t get into friend Linda’s car because it’s high and has no running boards; once in I couldn’t find the handicapped sticker—I was sitting in it.

By the time we arrived at the church garden for the sunrise service, most chairs were taken. A lady and her son graciously moved over so we could sit. We were barely in our seats when the front hit—wild winds that blew the lilies about in a wild dance and made the microphones sound like thunder. The temperature dropped at least ten degrees, maybe more. But the ministers persevered, and the congregation stayed put. I was reminded of the winter Sunday when the heat in the sanctuary went out and the then-minister said, “Instead of God’s chosen, you are God’s frozen.”

Nonetheless, even when you’re miserably cold, there’s something magical about watching the world go from dark to light while the sermon is about going from the sorrow of Good Friday to the joy and hope of Easter morning. It was a lovely service.
Jacob with his Easter haul. The Bunny at our house was unimaginative and
brought mostly money. Jacob was delighted and looked forward to another haul at
his other grandparents' later in the day. I told him I thought he had maybe missed
the meaning of Easter.

We hurried home, lit a fire, and, joined by Jordan and family, started breakfast. Other guests arrived about eight, and we sat sipping mimosas and bloody Marys, finally ate about 8:30—a cheese strata (need to rework the recipe), sausages, fruit salad, and some hot cross buns because I can’t resist them on Easter. All of a sudden, nearing 10:30, everyone left but Linda—and she and I faced the kitchen. I cannot say enough about what a help she was—my back hurt enough (after a weekend of cooking) that I had to stop and sit, but she worked away and the kitchen was soon to the point that I said, “I’ll take care of that…and that…later.” She left about 11:15 for her 30-miles drive home, and I slept for two hours.

I was late—but not too much so—for dinner with nearby friends at two. All my favorite foods—lamb chops, twice-baked potatoes, asparagus, avocado salad, blueberries and raspberries for dessert. And a thoroughly pleasant and relaxed meal with just four of us.

But Easter, with all its promise of hope and renewal, did me in. Came home and went back to bed. I have since finished the kitchen, done my yoga, fixed the alarm system I messed up as I tried to leave at two, and generally restored the house to whatever order it will be in for the next few months until garage sale is over and repairs are done. No dinner. Not even hungry. But now ready for sleep again.

If you celebrate Easter, I wish you all the joy of the Risen Christ. If you don’t celebrate, I wish you the joy and promise of the arrival of Spring with its many celebrations.

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