Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Eggs

A year ago, if you had said the words, "Easter egg," to me, you would have received either a flat response or a cynical remark. And I never would have imagined that I, as a middle-aged adult, would ever be coloring Easter eggs and smiling about it.

This past Good Friday, my sweetheart and I colored Easter eggs. We were at his sister's farmhouse with her family. Mozart's Requiem played in the background. Spread all over the table were various types of dyes, the traditional vinegar and water ones as well as the new-fangled Q-tips with the dyes built in. I colored my eggs tentatively, afraid to experiment, lest I dye an ugly egg no one would want to look at, much less eat. The youngest participant, 18-year-old Leo, approached our egg decorating the Natalie Goldberg method. His first egg he decorated (with his girlfriend's encouragement) as ugly as he could. After that, his eggs were artistic with complicated designs. sister Kathy was absorbed mostly with silent concentration and furrowed brow as she made each egg look like a luscious piece of fruit. At one point, my sweetheart donned a jewler's loupe as he etched teeny words,"DO NOT EAT" on a robin's egg blue Easter egg.

Amazing what the years do to shift one's perception of things. Until recently, the memory of Easter Egg hunts elicited groans. I remember being shouted at not to snag my scratchy Easter dress on the azaela bushes or to not scuff my white patent leather shoes as I peeked under daffodils for brightly colored eggs. We had pretty Easter baskets, but after the flashbulbs were spent, we could not touch them and had to wait for Mother to dole out the sweets. Now Easter egg hunts make me laugh mischievously, and make me wish I had started planning ours weeks ago. Kathy's husband sends her and their daughter yearly Easter egg hunts that take an entire day and a tank of gas. I laugh when I think about the fun I could have with that.

When you write this week, think about your shifts in perception regarding family traditions and holidays. Maybe there wasn't a whole lot of thought or tradition given to your holidays. Write everything you can remember (try daily freewrites of at least ten minutes each) until you can't think of anything else. Tuck those writings away until the same time next year. Then write about the same subject. When you are finished, compare the freewrites. Can you detect any changes in perceptions...yet? And as always...have fun with it!