Easter Sunday evening. A quiet day at home. Church via the internet. Phone and Skype calls to loved ones and friends. At 7 pm we, along with several other households on our street, go out and bang pots and pans in support of our frontline workers. It's become a time to chat for a few moments, and to check in with each other.
With the strange way we are all living these days, I wondered if I should just let tradition go. No, I decided, let's find new ways to celebrate. So on Good Friday I baked Paska Buns, an airy rich yeast dough with a hint of citrus topped with buttercream and sprinkles. It's a tradition from my Mennonite heritage.
Tim and I delivered plates of Paska to our local families, along with a few Easter treats, and a large manila envelope to be opened only when instructed. We enjoyed a short visit on the porch of each home.
Early Saturday evening we met via Zoom, the three Island households, and the one on the mainland. It was fun to see everyone together. The three older grands disappeared after awhile, then returned with costumes on - a butterfly, Superman, and a mermaid who later changed into a dragon. Little Iris clapped her hands and waved and tried to grab the computer.
This is a corner of my unkempt garden. Our son had the idea of a virtual egg hunt, so Tim and I thought about it, and came up with a plan. I took five photos of our garden, and in each photo there are five eggs hidden. I put copies of the photos in the manila envelopes, and emailed them to the mainland. Everyone was instructed to open and look at the photos at the same time. Can you find the five plastic eggs in the above photo? There is one each of blue, orange, pink, purple, and green. It was a fun activity to do together.
I spent much of Saturday and Sunday working in the garden. The weather is sunny and warm and some garden seeds planted a few weeks ago are finally sprouting. The first centaurea montana - wild cornflower - is blooming just now, with many to follow.
This evening I made dinner for the two of us. Ham, potato gratin, carrot souffle, roasted asparagus, and a rhubarb cream cheese pie for dessert. As we sat across from each other at the table, we reflected that it was the first Easter ever with just the two of us. We've always been part of larger gatherings no matter where we were.
As odd as this Easter is, it's made me think differently about the first Easter when Jesus' followers were utterly bewildered by the way their world had been turned upside down. Fear, uncertainty, confusion were part of their world. Then, the Resurrection - another topsy turvy event that rocked their world, but brought hope to life.
I loved Queen Elizabeth's first ever Easter message, in which she said, "Life and light are greater." By God's grace we will get through this.
I leave you with a little bouquet from my garden - candytuft, grape hyacinths, lemon balm leaves, and that one cornflower blossom that I recklessly clipped to bring indoors.
Have a wonderful week! I'll be back to teaching on Tuesday, but hope to spend tomorrow working in my garden again.