April 06, 2007

Spring rituals

The snow that keeps falling every night is usually gone by midday, melting in the warmth of the spring sun. The daffodils are not in bloom yet, but green shoots are appearing everywhere. Red-haired Sister and her kids have arrived in town for their Easter visit. They've brought one of their extras, Russian Girl, who has grown about a foot since the last time I saw her. My kids are off from school for Good Friday, and they are out playing Ultimate Frisbee, despite the cold.

On Palm Sunday, we went to an art show held every spring at a local church. Urban Sophisticate Sister came home for the art show; she, my brother, and my father usually enter paintings or pastels. We walked around the building, talked to some of the local artists, ate the food that was passed around on big round trays, drank red punch, and looked at all the artwork. Several rooms were filled with paintings from professional artists, but farther in, long halls were crowded with work done by local high school students. I am always amazed at the work done by these kids half my age: paintings, sculptures, pastels, and all kinds of experimental art.

The only part of Holy Week that has seemed strange this year is that my Wonderful Beautiful Smart Daughter is not here. She's spending the weekend in European Country Shaped Like A Boot, visiting the City With the Colosseum Where Crowds Used to Watch Christians Get Thrown to the Lions. Four weeks from today, she will return to Snowstorm City; her brothers and the extras in the household have begun the countdown. Only 28 days until she returns!

Easter rituals have changed as my children have gotten older. We don't have any candy in the house – none of the kids eat candy although their mother most certainly does — and we won't be searching for plastic eggs. My oldest two nieces, Red-haired Niece and Schoolteacher Niece, won't be home: they will be meeting Urban Sophisticate in Big City Like No Other for Easter Brunch. But my brother and Drama Niece will join us for Easter dinner for the first time in over a decade. We'll still have seventeen people at dinner on Sunday.

We will gather at my mother's house to eat a big dinner and talk, and then probably eat some more. We will likely take a walk, even if it's snowing. The trails at Pretty Colour Lake are muddy and wet, but the ice melts more each day. Easter in Snowstorm Region very often includes mud and snow, but none-the-less, the rituals of Holy Week still remind me that warmer weather is coming.

Pretty Colour Lake

Pretty Colour Lake in April.

12 comments:

Kyla said...

Beautiful photo! I'm glad your daughter will be home soon. It must be so strange to have her out of pocket, especially at holidays.

Anonymous said...

Are those cedar trees? Lovely pic.

david silver said...

seventeen people at a dinner table sure is nice. so are post-meal walks outside! enjoy.

jo(e) said...

Kyla: Yeah, it does feel strange but at least I got to spend ten days with her in March. And she'll be home in four weeks!

Anon: Yep. The lake has cedar trees all along the edges.

David: Seventeen is a small group for my family ....

Yankee T said...

Stunning photo. I can feel the countdown anticipation. Although Older Daughter is still on this continent, having her more than 1500 miles away seems way too far. Thank god for email!

Heidi said...

That lake is gorgeous!

BeachMama said...

Lovely lake. And seventeen! That is still a good number, we are slowly getting there when everybody is home, but this years Easter Dinner was quite small.

ppb said...

Easter is one of those traditions that my family doesn't really observe. I mean, we go to church, and when we were kids did the egg hunt/new dresses thing, but we've never had an Easter dinner thing at all. Being away from home for Easter has never been a big deal for me. But boy is it for my students. I'm hosting a brunch (at a restaurant) for the grad students because they're all just so sad about being alone. I bet if I'd grown up with big dinners like you have, I'd be sad to miss it.

And what do vegans eat on Easter? No eggs, I know.

jo(e) said...

Oh, most of the food that we have at Easter dinner is vegan -- potatoes, veggies, bread, salad, etc. I can eat everything but the ham.

And dark chocolate of course!

Anonymous said...

This year we're doing natural egg dying. Red and yellow onion skins, violets, red cabbage (makes blue), apple-tree bark (yellow), beets, cherries, paprika, skins of golden delicious apples (green). The family prefers those fizzy pills that make the weird overbright colors, sold in all the stores, so we have to alternate years. This year we go au naturel

AF

Nicole said...

Absolutely lovely photo to go with a lovely post.

Amelie said...

Wonderful photo! We did have easter breakfast, after the egg hunt, with 17 people as well, I think.
I love your "extras" -- we did/do have them, but never a word.