The past is a wonderful place, I just wouldn’t want to live there.
But it’s fun to go back and visit. To dig out a photo album, watch those home movies you had digitized, or even just watch one of those movies from a key part of your life that brings those memories out of a dusty corner of your brain.
I was debating on which topic to cover this week and the temptation to do something on one of the latest wrongs in the world was there–the elections, terrorism, guns, crazy drivers (Victoria was clipped this week by a hit & run driver). But I decided upon the occasion of Easter weekend that I should keep it positive and reflective.
So I’d like to talk about the Sweet Sixteen and who I think will win the NCAA tournament.
I let the mind wander back to my early years. The earth had recently cooled and I was a member of a church-going family. Oh, I don’t mean we went every Sunday. I meant, if there was a service, we were there. Sundays, Lent, Maunday Thursday, Good Friday, Easter, Advent, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve–we rarely missed a one. I’ll bet if the church had tested us with something like a “Transgression Tuesday” service, you would have found the Hunters there.
Once you have a family of your own and you want your kids to at least have the exposure of church, you’re pretty good about it. Most Sundays, got ’em to Sunday school. Kept ’em involved to a degree until confirmation and then, that’s about all I could really ask. It’s about giving them the foundation and then see what happens.
These days, Victoria & I aren’t regulars, per se. When I host the annual church auction, I like to say, “If you go to the early service, I go to the late service. If you go to the late service, I go to the early service.” We belong to a church, like the people there, but we live very crazy-busy lives, by choice. Sundays are sometimes about vegging out or there could be something planned.
But enough about me–back to Easter, the star of this weekend.
I was giving it some thought and Easter is like one of the last remaining, respected Christian holidays. At a time when you say the word ‘Christian’ and people think of Ted Cruz or Televangelists or Right Wing Wackos, I proudly admit to being a Christian, just not like those aforementioned. But think about it: On Good Friday, the stock market is closed. On Easter, the malls are actually shut down. Seriously. I remember several times back in the day when I thought I’d run over to the mall on Easter and it was a ghost town. Remember the outrage over the past couple of years? First the stores were open on Thanksgiving, then Christmas Day.
But they are closed on Easter and no one is complaining. Go figure.
Comparing Easter to when I was growing up and now, things really haven’t changed a whole lot when it comes to the celebration at a kid level. There are still hollow chocolate bunnies that shatter the hopes of every kid who would have bet their college fund that it was solid chocolate. There are still malt balls, (my favorite), jelly beans, and Peeps. Just more flavors of each than I ever could have imagined.
I remember hiding plastic eggs for our kids throughout the house when they were growing up. They also took part in a few outdoor egg hunts over the years. Today, a new tradition has started at my daughter’s in-laws, down in Olympia, where a field of colored eggs, around 500 of them, will await a dozen or so kids this Saturday. It’s awesome to see the look in their eyes and their genuine excitement.
There are smiles. There’s a look of hope. And when you think about it, that’s what Easter is supposed to be all about. A new beginning, a second chance, hope. We can celebrate it for just one day, or take it with us all year long.
I guess the only thing that disappoints me about Easter is that the holiday was never validated by a Peanuts Cartoon special. Oh, sure, do Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the easy ones. But would it have hurt anyone to have Linus spend the night in a rabbit hole, awaiting the arrival of the Great Bunny? Then again, those aren’t jelly beans on the ground.