Let me begin this piece about the holiday we know as Easter with an acrostic approach. Of course, each of the letters can have multiple meanings, but these are the ones that came to me.
E: early flowers such as daffodils, narcissus, hyacinths, and tulips in bloom.
A: apple blossoms as well as other fruit trees in bloom as they prepare for the fruit that will develop to feed us this fall and winter.
S: services to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, God's son, who died that our sins might be forgiven.
T: trees breaking forth with leaves, the light green color that is so typical of spring.
E: every day we have a gift from our Maker to enjoy.
R: renewal of life on all fronts. When you planted those lifeless looking bulbs last fall you anticipated the beautiful flowers that burst forth. There is a song that says, "In the bulb there is a flower, in a seed an apple tree." Thank goodness for new life that bursts forth each spring.
When I stopped to think of Easter, it automatically led me to thoughts of spring. The holiday and the season go hand in hand. The other thing that I think of is my wedding anniversary.
Farmers are certainly optimistic folks. They plow and plant expecting a productive season. Of course, that is not always the case. Some growing seasons are better than others.
When my husband and I were planning a wedding 45 years ago the seasons played a part. We married when the cows were all bred, but not yet out on the pasture.
Easter flowers decorated the sanctuary at the church and also made up my cascading bouquet. Spring was reflected in the pastel colors of the bridesmaids' dresses. Even the cake boasted pastel flowers to enhance the tribute to the season.
Everyone likes to reminisce. I tend to think many of us idealize our memories once we have some distance from them.
I can look back on that wedding fondly now, but at the time it was a flurry of activity. There were loose ends everywhere that needed my attention.
The greatest need we had was a place to live. My husband-to-be was an active dairy farmer. He could not live away from the farm and make a go of it.
There are not a lot of empty houses in rural areas. The houses are either part of someone's farm or abandoned and run down.
We opted to purchase a mobile home. We planned to set it on the farm hooking into existing water and sewage. We did have to set our own electric pole to be able to have electricity.
With the intensity of spring chores the process of setting and connecting everything was slow. We spent a couple months with my in-laws.
Our wedding gifts were stored away since we did not need them. My mother-in-law and I shopped for groceries together. We shared the expense but she did most of the cooking since I was still teaching school.
The plumbing was hooked up first. Once that was in I cleaned and prepared to move in.
One day the door locked behind me when I left the trailer for the day. I soon discovered that the keys, both of them, were on the counter inside the trailer. We brainstormed about how to get them. Let me tell you it is nearly impossible to break into a trailer!
My stepfather saved the day with a powerful magnet. On the weekend he and my mother drove over with it. We ended up breaking the kitchen exhaust fan to put the magnet through but we snagged the keys!
You may have noticed by now that I included nothing about bunnies and eggs either in the acrostic or in my memories. As a family we did all of the traditional Easter things, but that is not the most important aspect of Easter.
The darkness of Holy Week is followed by the joy of the resurrection. That is the Easter story that I hold most dear. Praise the Lord - I know that my Redeemer lives!
Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, Pa.