Easter at my church is always great fun. Everybody’s dressed up in their Easter finest and in a cheerful mood at the ending of winter and the beginning of spring. There’s big pots of colorful flowers adorning the windowsills, the tables located at either side of the altar and the reception tables in our parish hall for the reception after the service.
It is also of the most crowded services of our church year. My historic church has the old-fashioned box pews, each of which are packed to the gills with regular churchgoers as well as whatever family members have shown up for the holiday. Our ushers use creative methods to make sure everybody fits in. (“Excuse me? Ma’am? Can I borrow that crowbar? I need to make some room over here.”)
I’m just kidding. We have been known to resort to placing folding chairs in the aisles so that everyone has a seat, though.
After the service, there is an Easter egg hunt for the little kids, which is hilarious to watch. To make the hunt easy for the toddlers, the helpers scatter some eggs around the lawn and patio behind our parish hall and place others at the base of bushes or in the branches of bushes. Some kids get so excited and focused on the hunt that they completely ignore the eggs right at their feet.
This hunt can be hazardous, though. One year, I accidentally got between two toddlers and their eggs, and I barely escaped being mowed down. (Those little kids are dangerous!)
My elementary school did the same type of egg hunt around the time of spring break. Each class took a turn hunting for plastic-wrapped Easter eggs on the front lawn of my school.
These eggs were some type of VERY sweet sugar candy (think oversize jelly bean). But the big goal of this hunt was to find a silver egg (one of the candies wrapped in aluminum foil) in order to receive a prize. One year — I think I was in fourth or fifth grade — the helpers taunted, “Oh, we’ve hidden it really, really well this year. You’ll never find it!”
Now, this posed a challenge to me and my fellow students. We had our class honor to uphold! Everybody scattered around the lawn, determined to locate this elusive silver egg and avenge our class pride.
I’m walking around the front of the lawn, where there’s a short driveway and a shallow ditch with a couple of small drainage pipes to carry off excess water. I happened to glance down and see a brief flash of silver peeping out one of the pipes.
Was it….? Could it be…? Yes! YES! THE SILVER EGG IS FOUND! I pried it out, bore it back to the helpers and received a solid chocolate rabbit in return. It’s one of the best memories of my childhood.
Happy Easter, people! I hope it’s a good one for you, wherever you are.