Sunday, April 08, 2007

An Easter Carol

The Ghost of Easters Past
Easter was always my favorite holiday as a child because my entire extended family would go to my great-grandparents farm for a gigantic meal and an even more gigantic Easter egg hunt. Some of my favorite memories are from those times, though often I feel like they are just still shots in my mind: my great-grandfather walking, my granddaddy asking then-vegetarian me if I want a hot dog, being mid-spin in the pink dress my grandmother made for me, finding an egg in a thorny plant I was afraid to stick my hand in, the grandparents and great-grandparents laughing over early morning coffee while I pretended I was still asleep on the patio. I'm glad I didn't realize it when I was at the last one, because it would have tainted it somehow. I know how lucky I am to have all those years of Easters in Turrell, Arkansas.

The Ghost of Easter Present

I started my Easter with a long run. I'm not an incredibly religious person, but a good run is one of the best ways for me to connect with my soul. I have a lot of work ahead of me today, but will be having a little Easter supper with friends tonight. They are just a piece of the family I have made here in New York, and so valuable to me. Again, I wonder how it is that I am so lucky.

The Ghost of Easters Yet to Come
Teaching and being so involved in the lives of children in the past three years has made me even more aware of what I want in a family one day. I'm still not certain if I will have children, but I am certain about so much of what I want for them if I do. It's a strange dichotomy. So here, on my most sentimental of holidays, I find myself thinking about how I can create those memories for my own imaginary future offspring. I am often faced with questions about the future of any family I might have in relation to my decision to move so far away from the family I already have. It makes me sad to think that the Easters of my past may not ever be replicated in any way in the future. Not because I am longing for them, but because I might have made decisions that deny those experiences to my own children, imaginary though they may be.

I realize as I'm writing this that these ghosts aren't necessarily haunting me. The ghost of those past memories embraces me. And the ghost of my present keeps me grounded. And the ghost of the future guides me and challenges me. Either way, I have learned from all of them, and will now go about the rest of my day wishing everyone a Happy Easter.

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