April 2: It was happy hour. Perhaps a few years ago, the young men in dress shirts and neckties would have tossed back a few beers in a crowded bar. Today, I smiled to watch them across a soccer field tossing a Frisbee instead.
April 3: Oh how nice our front garden looks. Beds that snake for yards along our ranch-style house are at last cleaned and trimmed and waiting for flowers. That might be its own reward for my day of hard work, but so is a sunny seat with a crossword puzzle and a nip of whisky. For those sore muscles, of course!
April 4: Kevin and I greeted the Easter sunrise in the usual way, in a lovely, simple, outdoor service amid trees and flowers and grass. A few hours later, my church’s parking lot was both nave and transept. Dozens of us gathered in gentle weather to give praise — and to be reminded that love and hope are alive and loose upon the world. In our outdoor cathedral, we celebrated all creation, seen and unseen: tulips and lilies, birdsong and fragrance. We gave thanks for the choir’s recorded Hallelujah Chorus and the joy of being together at last. Did our neighbors in their gardens hear the hymns and prayers? If so, perhaps they, like me, felt blessed by words and wind, by sun and Spirit.
April 5: Instead of opening my usual playlist, I opened my window — to begin my work day with the sweet sounds of children’s voices. Handfuls of little ones popped up across our lawn like crocuses. Parents took photos and chatted from a suitable distance. And cheers went up when the school bus arrived. It wasn’t quite the first day of school, but somehow it felt that way.
April 6: Today Jeremiah curled up beside me in the quiet night, and we kept each other warm.
April 7: The little boy at bat jumped up and swung eagerly at a ball outside and well over his head. A little girl smacked her fist into her glove in the field, and a few kids watched from the sidelines. Was this a practice game, led by the adult on the mound? Or maybe, just maybe, a dad felt the warm sunshine, gathered his kids and their friends, and claimed a grassy wedge of park for just a bit of impromptu baseball.
April 8: When we were small, my Dad presented my sister and me with two stuffed dogs. And he blessed each one with perfect — and perfectly improbable — names: Tizzy McLeish (with her tartan and tam o’shanter) and Clementine Paddleford (all pink fuzz). Recently, I discovered that Clementine Paddleford was not just a favorite stuffed animal but also a noted American food writer who, sixty years ago, worked with my Dad at the New York Herald Tribune. Now I can’t help but wonder: who, really, was Tizzy McLeish (without her tam o’shanter)?
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