03.30.13 We’ve never liked Easter in our family, for reasons both big and small. My first mother-in-law, however, always said it was her favorite holiday. She told stories about how her mother made all four girls beautiful light and airy spring dresses each year, and the family would drive from their Ontario home for the shores of Lake Erie, enjoying warmth and sunshine. I was always suspect, having grown up on the American side of that lake, in Akron, Ohio. My mother also made lovely spring dresses for my sisters and me, but I only remember freezing cold wind and spitting rain, as we shivered on the dock with our Easter baskets for the obligatory photographs.
Somewhere, I probably have a photograph from years ago, when my own three girls were little, and I dressed them up for the Easter Egg Hunt and brunch at the local Country Club. My two best friends joined us with their husbands and children. By the next Easter, we were all divorced. That Spring was more about endings than it was beginnings.
Time passes and there are new beginnings. The six grandchildren get “Spring Baskets” from their parents, instead of “Easter Baskets”. I’m able to spend this Easter with three of the grandkids. They love me to tell them stories, and this time I’m bringing them the fairy tale about Ostara, the goddess celebrated during the Spring Equinox. The story goes that she found a wounded bird during the winter, and the only way she could save it was to turn it into a bunny rabbit. Even though the bird was now a bunny, it retained its power to lay eggs, and each spring, it would take its eggs, decorate them, and leave them for Ostara as a thank you.