We woke in pre-dawn darkness that never fully dispelled. It is Seattle, after all, and there is an unspoken rule that it must always rain on at least two days of the year: July 4th and Easter Sunday. Every year, Easter moves around, but the clouds are never fooled. This year is no exception.
But, it’s of no concern as I shuffle slipper-footed to the stove, preheat the oven, and turn back to the warm bedroom to put on pearls, an Easter dress, a spritz of my perfume. I trade my slippers for sand-colored ballet flats and tiptoe past the nursery, back to the kitchen. I start shaping hot cross buns. A basketful of warm, iced buns brought to Mass to treat our priests. Little plates with Bible verses to brighten neighbors’ mornings. And, a platter piled high for our breakfast table. But, these must wait.
Little fists rub bleary eyes. Still dark, and we dress. Freeways empty, but the pews are full, and hearts fuller. The pianist begins the first song, one of my favorite hymns, and all is white and lily-fragrant. All is joy.
Back home, there is the smell of bacon and later ham, the warmth of walls and arms, and if there is no sun, there is still light. Brightly colored eggs, candlelight, and children’s shining eyes.
It’s not all perfect. There are chocolate smears and cranky tears, and the ham is a little fatty. Little hands that folded in prayer snatch and push and ball in fists of frustration. A forgotten block of Gruyere is replaced with Monterey Jack at hand. The family favorite is a bit different this year, but still good. Still very good. There are empty places at the table for loved ones whose plans were forced to change last minute. We make phone calls instead.
It’s never quite perfect, is it? But, consider it all joy.
Simple Blessings #66-75
I tuck ham and eggs into the refrigerator,
seeds in the ground,
cards signed by beloved hands into a box.
Jelly beans shine like jewels in my mother’s candy dish beside the sofa.
My children congregate beside it, fingers and smiles twitching, and I say yes. This once.
Inevitably, sugar-crash tears follow, and I am grateful for wise words
that guide me when I am unsure.
I give thanks for the Word that spoke to Solomon’s heart
and grips mine fast in two sure hands.
I praise Him for little lives
and for the grace to help me train them up for glory.