Despite not being a Christian, or raised in a Christian family, Easter was always celebrated in my house. Particularly when I was younger, and we lived on a property worthy of wild bumpkins, Easters were an especially anticipated event.
My father is something of a self-proclaimed landscaper. He believes in a harmony between nature and the path, and so his paths always followed the shallows the tree roots lay bare. I used to run and play on those squiggly, sandy trails for hours all year, making bows and arrows out of sticks and floss and climbing magnolia trees that grew like sentinels on their edges.
On Easter, my mother, or father (I actually don’t know which) would get up early and hide those little plastic eggs you buy at the store all throughout the forest. They were really clever about it. There were four of us still participating in the hunt at one point, so there would be upwards of sixty or seventy drops of pastel and neon all throughout the property. However, none of us really cared about those eggs. Every year, there was one special egg: a large egg with a printed image of the Easter Bunny, in the artistic style of old Green Tiger Press books. Inside the egg was a special prize. Every year it changed. The year that mattered to me, because it was the year I found it before all of my siblings, was the year it contained a $20 bill. Can you imagine how much money that felt like when I was seven years old? In any case, every year we knew the special egg was out there. We would blow passed all of those little candy-colored eggs in the attempt to be the first to find the large egg. The year I found it, it was nestled in part of an eroded area of the forest. The erosion towards the river had turned it into a small ravine, and the roots of one of the trees unfortunate enough to be there had become exposed. My parents had hidden the egg inside them. It was quite a climb, but the prize was so worth it.
I remember other years of blowing yolks through pin holes and dyeing eggs in the psychedelic colors of my parents’ generation. I remember, vaguely, a day in primary school where my teacher brought in the most amazing sugar egg with a snow scene inside. I remember later, during our California years, my mom leaving jelly bean trails to pre-made baskets with chocolate bunnies and Cadbury eggs. I also remember the books I used to read. Max’s Chocolate Chicken. The Talking Eggs (arguably one of my favorite children’s books.)
(image taken from http://gatheringbooks.wordpress.com/)
If you had asked me when I was a child what my favorite holiday was, I would have answered ‘Christmas!’ or ‘Halloween!’ without skipping a beat. Yet, this year, as I encourage my students to make pastel designs for eggs on paper, I start to appreciate the wonder that the art of Easter inspired in me. There is something so fanciful, so novel, about the holiday. Perhaps because it is the ‘curious’ nature of it, I’m not sure.
What are some of your favorite Easter memories?