Happy spring, and happy Easter to everyone who celebrates!
I love spring, it’s without a doubt my favorite season of the year. Winters here in the Pacific Northwest can be dreary, wet and sometimes cold, but what I struggle with the most is the lack of daylight. Those short and often dark, cloudy days seem to suck the life right out of me.
But spring came early to us here and with its arrival we jumped our clocks forward an hour and voila! It’s light here until at least 7:00 in the evening, and it just gets better from here on. I suspect that we may have a dry, hot summer thanks to climate change, but I will try not to complain. I much prefer long, warm evenings playing by the river with the dogs to arriving home from work in the dark.
My mother loved the coming of spring too. I often spent my Friday’s with her and when the grass began to grow green and the trees gave up their blooms we’d go for drives through Portland just to look at the city in its new spring duds, or drive along Highway 26 toward Forest Grove, past the greening fields and new lambs, and vineyards.
Easter was Mom’s most cherished holiday, which I didn’t realize until I was an adult. I had invited her to a choral concert in which I was to perform and she said, “No, that’s Easter Sunday. It’s the most important holiday of all.” And that was that. As a child we always celebrated Easter with dyed eggs and Easter baskets and big family get-together meals. Living on the Oregon coast Easter eggs were frequently hid inside the house due to the nearly always-inclement weather. It seemed that every year at least one egg would be left unfound, only to eventually reveal itself via its unsavory odor several weeks later. But I never really understood how important the religious message of Easter was to her until the moment of the refused invitation.
Mom passed away on Easter Monday, April 6th 1999, as if she had decided to stay for just one more Easter Sunday. So amid the beautiful trees and tulips and chocolate eggs, Easter holds a little needle of sadness that pokes at my heart from time to time. And then I remember that for her Easter was all about forgiveness and beginning again, and there’s no room for sadness in that.
Happy Easter, Mom