(Late entry today, so I’ll keep it short.) My earliest memories of Easter specifically are from Estancia. I do have some vague recollections of earlier days in Carrizozo and wearing a little outfit my mother made with a matching skirt and tam and purse. In Estancia I can recall the lead-up and the days of Easter Week. I can remember the smell of the vinegar and dye for the eggs. I can remember those candy-coated marshmallow eggs that came in plastic wrapping. I can even remember a solid milk chocolate bunny.
I have always loved Easter. Aside from the fact that it is the best of all Christian Holidays, (I’m sorry those of you who prefer Christmas. Easter is the BEST!) it has new clothes and pastel candy. It has flowers, stack and stacks of flowers. It has tulips and lilies and orchids and hyacinth. It has crocus and daffodils and jonquils. It has robins coming back from wherever they go in winter and marching around the yard like little bird superheroes with their bright orange chests. It has the perfume of lilacs in the air.
Easter was the only holiday when mother would serve leg of lamb. It was the ultimate pleasure of Easter, the dark rich lamb with its brown gravy and roasted potatoes. (BTW, I’m making lamb tomorrow. I’m going to roast it with the potatoes in the pan. I’ve already got a flourless chocolate cake that I’ll top with berries and maple whipped cream. I can’t wait for tomorrow.)
I even loved finding and hiding Easter eggs. There were plenty of my cousins who could do both of those things better than I could, but it didn’t matter. I loved doing both.
In Estancia, that week of the year could sometimes be the windiest week. The wind would blow so hard, the sand would come through jeans and sting our legs when we walked outside. During those miserable days we would hide the candy eggs in the living room. Well, I would hide them, and Brian would hunt them. We wouldn’t eat them right away. Sometimes he would hide them, and I would hunt them. Occasionally we would miss one and find a petrified candy egg in June. We couldn’t have eaten it. It was a sugar rock. Come to think of it, those days of living out in the country and hiding eggs for my little brother were like a preparation for quarantine. In the words of my grandparents, “We made our own fun.”
I guess that’s why the current isolation doesn’t feel very strange for me. I had some isolated days in my childhood. Whoopee! (I know everyone must envy me.)
As much as I enjoy my alone time, I will be glad to have an Easter when I can hide eggs for someone again. I used to give Seder dinners for my Sunday School class to show where the Christian traditions took from the Jewish traditions that Jesus followed. As happy as I will be in a few hours when the sun rises on my favorite HOLY DAY, I will be a thousand times happier when I’m sitting at a long table with others celebrating the Resurrection in the future.
In the meantime, joy and peace to all.