Easter Sunday Soliloquy

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair.
We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”
Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyła)

In this very troubled world the above quote from Pope John Paul II brightens my day.

Whether or not, we are celebrating a religious festival/commemoration we can enjoy the days. But not everyone can. I lamented hard and long on the wars being fought around the world in my post The Question Remains Unansweredand I don’t intend to go over it again. I would rather brighten your day and mine, so look instead at Good Morning, Good Friday.

So to today. Looking back at all the Easter Sundays I have enjoyed over this long life, I remember 

Growing up in London all those years ago, Easter was an important time in our calendar.  We, three girls, went to church in our new clothes to celebrate Easter but of course, Mother, who was Jewish, didn’t accompany us.  And I am not sure why Father didn’t come, but he didn’t. Friday service was always very solemn and left us in a sombre mood for the rest of the day. We would visit Father’s father after church. We didn’t see him often as he lived a couple of bus rides away. No jumping into a car then. There was no car and little petrol/gas was available anyway.

Hyde Park, London

But we all looked forward to the Easter Parade on Easter Sunday.  On this day many Londoners congregated in Hyde Park to see ‘the toffs/the gentry’ parading in their finery.  What excitement for three young girls. In our new Easter clothes we thought we were pretty grand too.

Even as far back as the middle ages, many cultures would strut their new finery on their way to church or visiting friends on this Sunday.  A more spiritual slant is that this ritual represents the procession that followed Christ carrying the cross.

.And each year there was the excitement of The Easter Parade at Collins Music Hall very close to where we lived.  The Music Hall would have a line up of top acts for Easter.  Unfortunately, we were considered too young by our parents to go to this show advertised in 1950.

We had that strange Easter in 2020 when we were in lockdown. Along with the rest of the world, our plans for Easter had to be abandoned. 

This was to be a special Easter. My baby girl was having a special birthday on the 11th of April, the Saturday of Easter. She was born four days before Good Friday and often since then, Easter has been around her birthday.

But now 60 years later (can I possibly be that old?) I had booked a cottage in one of the wine-growing regions for us. 

My daughter, her two sons and girlfriends (if they wished) would all sally forth on Good Friday, spend three nights there and then head back home. We would spend our days wandering the vineyards and sampling the wines. We have a built-in driver as my daughter doesn’t drink. Does she know what she is missing? Alas “the best-laid plans..” It didn’t happen.

There was the awful Easter in 2014 when somebody set fire to the storage area containing my worldly goods.

An arsonist was caught on camera entering the facility and when charged, claimed innocence. Luckily the things  I lost were replaceable, although unfortunately/stupidly  I had forgotten to insure the stored goods. You can read more of this here.

There was a  memorable Easter spent on the French Riviera in an unheated caravan. Great memories of fun and laughter; Easters with my parents and our baby daughter and yet more when our family was increased by the birth of a son (the result of the cold Easter and the French Riviera)

And so many other memories of Easters spent around the world; until 1998 with my DYS (Dashing Young Scotsman) who by 1998 while still dashing was no longer young, and with my children and then with their children. Then several years here in New Zealand without him but with family and friends, and a few short years with my Late Love, The Architect.

Many Easters have been memorable in one way or another and all sit safely in my Suitcase of Memories (thank you, Patti, of A New Day Dawns, for the title) to be taken out and enjoyed all over again.

“Sometimes I need only to stand 
wherever I am to be blessed.”
Mary Oliver

JB April 17, 2022

Good Morning, Good Friday

“Easter is joy, hope, love, and renewal.
Easter is proof that we can begin again.” 
Richelle E. Goodrich,
American Author, Novelist, & Poet 

Growing up all those years ago, Good Friday started with a visit to church with my sisters. Yes, even before breakfast. Then home and later a visit to my father’s father whom we saw not as often as mother’s parents.

Of course, we had new clothes for Easter. It was a very important time in our lives.

Now, here in New Zealand, I don’t go to church but instead I think back on all those years and what I learnt from regular church attendance. I know my life has been built on the lessons I learned then.

Today is a Public Holiday which means most retail outlets are closed. For some reason, dairies (the small Mom and Pop grocery stores) are exempt from the law. Garden centres continue to flout the law. They have worked out that the money they make being open on Good Friday and Easter Sunday far outweighs the paltry sum of $500 which they might be fined.

For most of us though, it is family time. I started this Good Friday with coffee and hot cross buns, some home made and some bought in, at my grandson’s house, with his partner, my son and daughter-in-law and their other son. What a lovely surprise. I hadn’t known Grandson No 2 was here from Auckland.

So now sitting in the sun on this glorious autumn day (19C) all that is left to do is wish you all a very Happy Easter however you choose to celebrate it.

JB April 15,2022