So Easter egg hunts are a new experience and usually make me miss jelly beans tucked between the black keys of a piano, jelly beans hidden amidst the cobwebs of a candlestick or a pottery vase, jelly beans frantically tossed into my basket before the selfish siblings could get them.
My community split up in different homes for “family meals” and then gathered at an open field for a (mostly) grown-up Easter egg hunt. Having no sense of nostalgia over scooping up garish little not eggs containing what I’m trying not to eat, I was unmotivated. But I didn’t want to be a bad sport, so I ventured into the field and before long began a different sort of search.
Our field was generously sprinkled with violets. Soon I was so engrossed in picking them that a green plastic egg hidden in the grass startled me. Violets are significant to me, after all, and on a day like today when we celebrate new life in Christ nothing could be more appropriate to hunt.
The scent of a violet is elusive – I have a distinct memory of being a kid of five or six, perched atop the slide in the backyard with my nose buried in a bloom, trying to take in as much of its perfume as I could. Maybe my sense of smell is aging, or maybe Kentucky violets are shyer than their Yankee cousins, but this spring it seems I can’t catch a whiff of anything.
The collective fragrance of today’s bunch, however, is filling my room. They smell like childhood days spent in a Wisconsin backyard, my imagination my playmate. They smell like happiness and hope.
Which reminds me of how much I enjoyed gathering with various expressions of family today.
- At this morning’s service my joy was increased by celebrating my risen Savior surrounded by others whose hearts hold the same hope - hearts that have become linked to mine.
- Shortly afterwards I marveled at the Gospel story as seen through the eyes of three-year-olds. (When talking to one wide-eyed little girl about Jesus dying on the cross, she asked, “When? Last week?”)
- Then I joined with a slice of community made up of friends old and new, savoring the mutual hospitality of a potluck meal, lingering in conversation long after we’d eaten our fill, sharing the burden of cleaning up when we were done.
- And Resurrection Sunday will culminate with a long-awaited Skype date with one of my dearest heart-friends. We’re separated by land and sea and time zones but share a similar quest to display His splendor as we keep His hope alive.