Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Bit Of Easter


A Bit of Easter

Being born in the month of April means that my birthday occasionally falls on Easter, a fact that confused me just a bit when I was little and which has forever, at least in my mind, wedded my birthday to bunnies. Makes sense really, since on those occasions when my special day arrived simultaneously with Easter, I always received, in addition to my birthday gifts, bunnies. Lots of bunnies. Stuffed bunnies, chocolate bunnies, marshmallow bunnies and books about bunnies. Perhaps my colouring too closely resembles that of Alice, or maybe even that of her famous white rabbit, for even today I seem to get an inordinate amount of cards decorated with bunnies. A neighbour once even left a large stuffed rabbit on my front porch because he said it reminded him of me. Just one more thing in life that doesn’t bear thinking about too hard.

Whether or not it coincides with my birthday, Easter has always been special to me. How well I remember those Southern childhood Easter Sundays, riding to church in a car full of old women who smelled for all the world as though they had bathed in Jungle Gardenia. There I’d be, vaguely woozy from that heady perfume, gussied up in uncomfortable frills with my feet complaining loudly about their confinement in brand new patent leather shoes, standing up to sing with everyone else... “Up from the grave He arose. With a mighty triumph o’er His foes”.
My father always gave me one perfect gardenia at Easter. Now forever a symbol of Easter for me, it's sweet fragrance bore no resemblance to that dreaded perfume beloved by the church ladies. Right up until the year he died, I would hear his car arrive in the driveway on Saturday afternoon, and there he’d be, carrying a beribboned white box up the drive. Sometimes I wore that beautiful gardenia on my lapel, sometimes I wore it in my hair. And I always kept it by my bedside as long as it lasted.

These days, I’m the giver, and I’m not precisely certain how it happened, but each year I seem to be making more Easter baskets than the year before. I start at the beginning of the week with my kitchen table deep in butterflies and flowers, Easter grass and chocolate eggs. Occasionally a lamb can be seen, but usually it’s bunnies. Lots of bunnies. Early Saturday morning is delivery time, when I sneak into the gardens of several favourite children in the neighbourhood, leaving these baskets in the middle of a Lenten rose or underneath the fronds of a fern. I then call the parents to tell them I was just driving by and happened to see a large white rabbit in their garden. “He looked rather suspicious”, I'll say. “Perhaps you should send Dahlia (or Truman, or Harlan) out to see what he’s been up to!" I rather think I have singlehandedly kept the children in my neighbourhood believing in the Easter Bunny long past the usual time of unfortunate enlightenment. I leave baskets on front porches and window sills, on benches and in gardens, to children and grown-ups alike. I have a glorious time.

This year’s baskets are almost done. It will be early to bed for me tonight, and yes, Edward will be my partner on all the deliveries tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be sublime and Edward loves this annual task almost as much as I. If it were possible, the two of us would sneak into your own garden and leave a Easter basket made just for you.
Since we cannot, here are a few special words to wish you all a very lovely Easter Sunday.
See you next week!

Easter Week
by Charles Kingsley

See the land, her Easter keeping
Rises as her Maker rose.
Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,
Burst at last from winter snows.
Earth with heaven above rejoices;
Fields and gardens hail the spring;
Slaughs and woodlands ring with voices
While the wild birds build and sing.

You, to whom your Maker granted
Powers to those sweet birds unknown,
Use the craft by God implanted;
Use the reason not your own.
Here, while heaven and earth rejoices,
Each his Easter tribute bring-
Work of fingers, chant of voices,
While the wild birds build and sing.

28 comments:

  1. What an incredibly lovely thing to do! I love that you help keep kids believing in one of the magic times of childhood. I always liked the Easter Bunny; unlike on Halloween, chocolate was the candy of choice. That Big Ol' Rabbit had class! LOL!

    We think, our granddaughter is at the last year of believing in the Bunny, Santa, Tooth Fairy, and other such icons of childhood. Between my much younger sister, my daughter, my niece and nephew, and granddaughter, I've generally made at least one basket for most of the years since my little sister was born!

    Well, I guess I'll just have to watch James Stewart and "Harvey" once a year around this time! (Once I stopped believing in the Bunny myself, I kind of concluded that the Easter Bunny turned into "Harvey" and would be around if he was ever needed.)

    It may be time to intoduce "Harvey" to my granddaughter!!

    Have a lovely Easter!

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  2. Hello Pamela

    How sweet and kind of you to make baskets for the children in your neighbourhood. My daughter will go on her last Easter Egg hunt Saturday at our church--hard to believe!

    Hope you and yours will have a Blessed Easter.

    Best
    Tracy :)

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  3. What a sweet thing to do - helping children keep their childlike faith a bit longer.

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  4. It's wonderful that you and Edward are actually in cahoots with the Easter Bunny and are assisting him in the delivery of these special baskets full of Easter joy, all the more special as they were hand made by you...such a little Easter elf you are!
    Happy Easter wishes to all of you!
    xo j~

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  5. Your father sounds like a most remarkable and thoughtful man!

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  6. What a lovely Easter
    Bunny you make, Pamela, and with Edward, your handsome escort.....

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  7. I want to be a child again.....living in your neighborhood!!!! You are such a generous spirit to do this Pamela - just hope the Easter Bunny remembers to hop by your garden too, with flowers (a gardenia maybe?) and something delicious in chocolate!

    Easter Blessings to you, the Songwriter, Edward, and Apple.

    Hugs -Mary

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  8. My own two little girls received surprise Easter baskets from a neighbor when they were young. Years later I did that for a few kids in our neighborhood. I enjoyed doing it but I was always afraid of getting caught leaving the surprise baskets late in the night!

    The gardenia - what a lovely thing for your father to do...

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  9. What a sweet tradition you've created in your neighborhood! I too am an April birthday girl, and it falls upon Easter this year.
    Blessed Resurrection Day!

    ~ Violet

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  10. I am not surprised by your love and generosity, Pamela. What lovely gestures, and absolutely unforgettable! You are a true lady.

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  11. Love the story about the neighbour and the stuffed rabbit .

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  12. Thank you so much, Pamela...your Easter basket of words is much appreciated! Happy Easter to you, my friend.

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  13. Your lovely words about Easter and bunnies and patent leather shoes all brought a smile to my face. Wishing you a big basket of surprise and smiles. My best to you.

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  14. Such a lovely poem and such delightful visions of you hopping about with your personally crafted Easter baskets.

    How special your father must have been, still is, to you. A gardenia! A perfect flower, image, gesture for the holiday. Thank you ever-so-much for sharing.

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  15. I miss the egg hunts and all of Easter. It is a magical time of year. You are only young once and it should be Fairy tales.
    Happy Easter to you and Edward, Thor send's a doggie nuzzle to Edward.

    Yvonne

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  16. What a lovely story Pamela - wish you lived near here as the Eastwer bunny idea seems to have disappeared. I remember that "Up from the grave he arose" though - sung with great gusto on Easter Sunday morning.

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  17. Pamela, you are every child's perfect Fairy Godmother.

    Have a wonderful Easter yourself.x

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  18. How wonderful!
    All your memories and traditions woven into one large packet at Easter time!

    I wish you Happy Birthday and a very Happy Easter indeed!
    Peace, love and happiness to you, the songwriter and those lovely four legged companions of yours!

    xoxo

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  19. Pamela...I would love to see your Easter Baskets, I can just imagine! I had to laugh when you mentioned being overhwhelmed by jungle gardenia in the car. I recall those days as well except for me it was Estee Lauder..the original scent. Very heady stuff!

    Wishing you, Edward and your wonderful Songwriter a very special Easter Sunday Pamela....

    Jeanne xxx

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  20. Happy Easter!

    What a wonderful treat and a wonderful way to help children and adults as well belive in the goodness of the Easter bunny! Or just the goodness of a friend.

    I hope you have a wonderful day.

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  21. Pamela, what an absolutely lovely surprise for the children in your neighbourhood ! Happy Easter !

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  22. I am moved nearly beyond words- this post is in enchanting to all the senses, including a very special one to me: nostalgia. In it's truest form, it can be like attar. Fragrance for the soul.

    Thank you, Pamela. I cannot think of a post I've enjoyed more or more fully.

    Happy Easter.

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  23. Happy Birthday! I loved hearing about your childhood Easter memories and how you now spread the joy to neighborhood children. My kids are too old to believe in the bunny, but they still believe in chocolate at Easter and so do I - yum!

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  24. Could you please tell me who is the artist of this beautiful painting?

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  25. I was born on an April Easter Monday.

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  26. You are the sweetest giver! I hope you had a lovely birthday, and that the Easter Bunny (or his emissary) delivered something special to you as well. xx

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  27. Ahh...my son, the youngest was born early Easter morn in 1980. It was such a beautiful experience with religious hymns playing and a bag of goodies taped on the incubator when they later brought my little guy back to me! ha

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