Friday, March 16, 2007

New Life [CCR]

As I ramble through the crowded aisles of our local big box store I can see they have a fine stock of Easter goodies. It seems Easter is quickly catching up to Christmas in commercialism. I guess it isn’t a big worry, especially if you don’t happen to celebrate Easter. We celebrate a traditional Easter in hopes our children grasp our personal faith. Even if you do not celebrate a traditional Easter maybe you should at least celebrate the new life about to burst forth. I know I will be glad to see the flowers blooming again.

Somehow I don’t think it will be the Easter baskets that most of our children will remember as adults. At least I don’t remember it. Yes, I did get visits from the Easter bunny. But looking back I remember more the thrill of entering another year. It was more like celebrating a new year than New Year’s Day.

Often we gathered at Grandmother’s house after church to meet family. With Uncle Travis living in Memphis it was one of the few times he was able to come home and visit. Sometimes we got a visit from Uncle Fred and Aunt Virginia who lived in New Orleans. All of the grandchildren played in the yard which was decked out in buttercups and other fresh blooms. I don’t recall the food from Easter as much as Christmas. We spent more time outside.

Looking back I guess I didn’t realize it also signaled some new work headed my way. By the time Easter arrived the grass had decided it was time to grow, especially in Alabama. Dad would pull out the lawn mower, sharpen the blade, and crank the engine to make sure it ran. In my younger years we had a Sears riding mower for a short while. But eventually it fell to the wayside and my sister and I took turns pushing a lawn mower to cut the yard. Mom often helped us keep up with when one of our turns pushing ended and the other took over. I hate to say it, but I miss those days.

Today I have two lawn tractors I brought to Ohio from North Carolina. In North Carolina I had four acres that took constant care. Here I have a double city lot. Granted it isn’t exactly small, but it definitely doesn’t require two lawn tractors. You can cut the yard in a matter of minutes. My children still think of it as extremely hard work just like I thought pushing the mower was hard work. Dad and Mom had spent years working in the fields and woods trying to help the whole family. We are blessed to have lost some understanding in each generation, but we will miss the wisdom.

I walked through the back yard yesterday looking at the dead plants in my flower garden. The snow had protected their integrity through the winter. I remember thinking about not having to maintain that garden once the snow arrived. Now I wish the snow would stay away. I promise I will plow it. Mom often said, “Don’t wish your life away.” Yet, I find me still shoving time forward after forty five years. If I sit down and think about it, I would take time back for one more push around that bottom area of our yard in Cherokee. It doesn’t look as bad now.

We should give thanks for new life each year. Not just the life that we see in the spring, but for the new life that joined us over the past year. We should be thankful for the continuance of life and what new adventures it will bring. And we should celebrate those lives that have ventured further. For now we celebrate the time of our world’s renewal and now is the true time to rekindle our own soul for another year together.