By Cynthia Simmons
Today is Easter. We’re at the end of a beautiful day—our first natural day of full spring. Not the calendar’s delineation of seasons, but the first actual arrival of sweet, warm air, clear skies, and a sense of grace and newness. We were lucky this year—some Easters are exasperating when bright Easter egg colors and images clash with miserable gray skies and unappealing temperatures.
For me, it was a busy day, starting early. The first task was to get up extra early and prepare to ride my bike to a 7:30 a.m. service with my boyfriend. We left at 7 a.m. to arrive at 7:30. Our return journey started at 9:00, for another 30 minutes of slow, out-of-shape riding home. (For me, I was thankful that I had done at least a little bicycle riding the prior two weeks. For my boyfriend, it was slow and tedious because he had ridden through the winter, so today he chose to handicap himself with a slow, heavy, fat-tire bike.)
Back at my place, we began to prepare for Easter lunch. My mom and her boyfriend were arriving at 12:30. My boyfriend did most of the cooking. I concentrated on setting the table.
The story of the table settings is a story unto itself. The Blue Willow dishes came from three generations back, from my great aunt’s mother. My mom inherited the small collection and she later packed it up and (at great expense) shipped it to me. She had added four tea cups. I later added six dinner plates from a resale shop. So setting the table for Easter involved going through the collected dishes and deciding what to use or not. Fortunately, those choices had been made the day before Easter; the dishes were already carefully stacked on the table to await the actual setting of the table.
If this sounds a bit cautious and over-worried, your interpretation would be correct. My opinion is that many times intergenerational negotiations among adults can cause stress.
But, we were successful today. When the table was set, it was beautiful. The total contributions of the four people at lunch complemented each other with food, dishes, wine, and conversation. We arrived at the table from four separate directions. (Perhaps from the four points of the compass?—I ask myself.)
Afterward, as we separated to attend to different obligations, I found myself thinking about a long list of tasks I need to do. But, I reminded myself of the importance of being still. And that incidentals can hold life together, and give it meaning and direction.
Monday isn’t until tomorrow. Then I will go back to my job search.
Cynthia Simmons has a background in publishing and publications.
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