Today is Easter, the holiday where The Lord is awaken from the dead. Spring also began just a couple of weeks ago, and, like the holy day, nature celebrates its rebirth from a long sleep. The trees and plants that seemed to die last year have once again come to life. Their beauty is something to behold, to admire, to appreciate.
Around here, the weather was absolutely beautiful. A perfect day. After a cloudy start, the sun poked through and chased those rainmakers away. Crocuses decorate my yard, with tulips and lily-of-the-valleys already gearing up to blossom. Their delicate scent creeps in my open window, and I stop for a moment to appreciate their perfume.
I think about what I went through last year. It was absolutely horrible. Was afraid to go to the grocery store so I had them delivered. Trouble was, about half of what I ordered came. All I wanted was some ham. I couldn’t even get a humble package of a ham steak. It was tough to find chicken of any kind. So I made myself a small lasagna. Baked myself a loaf of bread and had some nut roll I froze from Christmas. All of this I had to myself, because we were all isolating from each other.
Easter used to mean so much more when my mother was alive. She was from a Slovak family, many of whom just arrived when she was little. She grew up speaking that language as well as making all the traditional dishes. Easter meant having an egg dish called hrutka, which is scramble eggs put in a cheesecloth, squeezed of all its liquid, placed on a baking pan and given a paint of egg, baked at 350 until golden and then eaten. We also had paska, or a bread consisting of half regular bread dough, half cheese bread dough, rolled together and baked into a round loaf. Then there’s kolbas, which is similar to Polish kielbasa. She used to prepare a basket of these foods and take them to her church to be blessed. Then after Easter mass, we’d go home and eat it. Our house was filled with our family, my grandparents, cousins, and a few others for good measure.
I even had nice Easters there for awhile. After my parents died, I still had my family and cousins over, plus a few friends. After my marriage ended, I still had cousins, my sister and friends over. Then last year, no one but me.
But not this year.
While we still can’t celebrate the holiday like we used to, at least my sister and I were able to get together. My cousins called and they’re in the middle of getting their vaccinations, as me and my sister are. We’re going to celebrate Easter this summer. Things are looking up again.
Holy days like this one, too, get this reformed Catholic thinking. While I no longer celebrate my beliefs in any organized fashion, I do meditate and believe there’s nothing to be gained from negativity, though I’ve had plenty of it the past year. I so want this upcoming year to be my rebirth, too. I will try to dig myself out of the depths of the darkness I so easily inhabit. I’m making a goal to be kinder to myself. It’s not like I have to remind myself to smile. Better to think of the joys of living than fear of dying.
If the pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that our time here on Earth is fleeting and each day is a gift. Best to appreciate what lies ahead, let go of what’s behind, and create my destiny on hope and love.