April 15: I visited the little town of Snow Hill on this sunny afternoon. Speckled with 19th century houses and churches, Snow Hill seems to have just one tiny retail street. And I found it. I found the bakery (and secured baked goods for our oven-free Easter). I found Tides & Vine, a charming beer and wine bar with rough wood ceilings, comfy antiques and a friendly barkeep. And I found two teenaged boys outmatched by a three-person job. So I offered to help.
My job was to affix zip-ties to five sets of semi-circular (empty) iron flower baskets while the boys held them high on five old-time lamp posts. After a few false starts (and at least twice poking one boy in the face with an extra zip-tie I clenched between my teeth), we installed them all. I’ll need to come back soon to see the new flowers and visit all my new friends.
April 16: Just ahead of a thunderstorm, a small group of us gathered in the courtyard next to the church. The celebrant kindled a fire and lit the Paschal candle. We processed into the sanctuary, each of us given a taper to light from the Paschal flame. Saint George’s Easter Vigil had begun.
In the dark church, illuminated only by the Paschal candle, a few distant lamps, and our tapers, the cantor offered a beautiful, ancient song. Readings, antiphons and quiet choral arrangements carried us to the Eucharist. And then: the organ erupted in a joyous fanfare, altar candles glowed anew, and we extinguished our tapers. In hectic joy, we shook jingle bells and sang “Jesus Christ is Risen Today.”
I now understand why my mother thought the Easter Vigil was the most beautiful of all worship celebrations.
April 17: Our toaster oven cranked out the love on this feast day with a casserole for breakfast and another for dinner. I think she’s earned a starring role when Thanksgiving rolls around.
April 18: I shivered in the seat of my car, discouraged and grouchy by persistent cold rain. At a stoplight, I shifted my sympathy to a bare-legged mother who crossed the street in front of me with an umbrella and a child in her arms. Leaning toward her son, the mother shared a few words and a big smile. The little boy looked up and smiled broadly in return. I cranked up the car’s heater, but I no longer needed it.
April 19: I went walking with my friend Jini along my town’s familiar roads and pathways. We turned toward the forest creek; rounding a bend, we came upon tulip splendor. For 23 springtimes, I’ve walked past this garden and saw tulips waiting or tulips spent. I wondered, I imagined, what the garden must look like in bloom. And now at last I know.
April 20: As a substitute teacher at our local preschool, I move around a lot (in every sense of the term). Lucky for me, I eventually entered a classroom as a nap-time aide. Recorded music from violins, harp and vibes filled the darkened space. To my surprise, I heard “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” “Nowhere Man,” “Norwegian Wood” — and many other instrumentals from a Beatles nap-time CD. (“She’s Leaving Home” makes a poignant lullaby.) I didn’t close my eyes, but I allowed myself to rest, because my preschoolers, at the moment, were no longer here, there and everywhere.
Bonus: Imagine sunshine + a grassy hill + huge sheets of flattened cardboard. Toss in a dozen inside-all-afternoon preschoolers and you’ll have joyous chaos!
Double Bonus: When I walked into our local brewery tonight, the brewmaster smiled and said, “Welcome home, stranger.”
April 21: Beautiful spring flowers. Warm weather. A long visit with a dear friend. Playing all week with my new preschool buddy, a shining boy with Downs Syndrome. I cherish so many lovely things today. I think the best moment, though, occurred this morning when my preschool friend threw his arms around me and greeted me with a glorious smile.
Readers, to receive notifications by email each time I make a post, just scroll all the way down this page (next to the “word cloud”), look to the left and click on the black button that says “Join Me!” And if you think a friend might enjoy these, please share the Delight!
If you’d like to browse my past essays, please consult the “word cloud” featured at the very bottom of this post. Find a theme or two that interests you and sift through the sands. Or learn a bit more about my Blog by visiting my Welcome page. You’ll also see links to my four published essays. I’m glad you’re here!