Our Easter feast began the day before, on Saturday morning. One hundred or so neighbors. Two thousand or so eggs. Warm sunshine and hot coffee. Conversation and sticky children.
Or maybe it began earlier that week. When my sister and her four children tumbled, along with the crayons and crumpled napkins, from their minivan. A three-day road trip from Florida suddenly ended.
It is Easter, and we have feasted. On cousins sprouting like weeds and epic games of Monopoly. On baby chickens discovering bugs and grass and baby lettuces discovering rain.
We have feasted on hard-boiled eggs turned somewhat unappetizing shades of blue and my mother’s recipe for Greek chicken.
But mostly, we have feasted on time. On moments stretching into days spent at the table side-by-side with family.
Family, for us, has always been feast or famine. Separated by miles, our mailing addresses like stars in a far-flung constellation, we do not relate casually. There is no dropping by. No Sunday lunches then home again. No Christmas gifts delivered in person. No grandparents to babysit for date night.
We have only not enough (telephone calls and emails) or too much (three daily cycles of the dishwasher and four of laundry just to keep the show running).
We know Lenten hunger, and we know Easter fullness.
Feast days leave little space for story-making. Not storytelling. There is time for that as we sit at table. Storytelling is a necessary part of celebration.
But story-making is born of hunger rather than plenty. It is our longing that reveals the contours of new dreams and new stories. Because we hunger, because we do not have, because we suffer, we search for meaning like desperate sailors search for land.
We search for cool blue in desert wastes. We search for Kelly green in stubborn snow.
In winter, we toss in our sleep, and we dream of spring.
In spring, we sleep dreamlessly and wake refreshed.
“For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Just one long cool drink for a dry and parched soul, your words, oasis for a weary sojourner.
Thank you, Elizabeth. Blessings, my friend.
Yes, so true … story-making comes from our hunger!! Never thought of it that way, but I identify. THANK YOU, Christie.
And so glad you enjoyed family over Easter. 🙂
Bill and I will be with them and their entire region sometime this fall. Wanna’ come?
I do, Sue! Some day, I pray.
Your parting words remind me of a poem I once learned about new life and spring: “Winter, slumbering in the open air, wears on his smiling face, a dream of spring”. God bless dear Christie.
Thank you, Larry! That is the perfect poetic accompaniment.
I love this idea that stories come from hunger. What a unique and profound idea!
Oh, I love this Christie. I have found this to be true. Thank you for expressing it so well.
Thanks, Cara. It’s a treat to see you here.
I love this idea of feasting on time.
It might be better than chocolate, Danielle. 😉
I am so powerfully distracted by that fantabulous tree that I must admit to not reading these good words carefully enough. HOLY CRAP, Christie – does that glory grow on your property?? I don’t think I’ve seen a more spectacular representation of Easter/resurrection than that first picture of children playing amid the blooms. Is it magnolia or dogwood or ?? Stunning. Literally.
Diana, it does! It’s a living miracle of a magnolia tree, probably planted a century ago. When it’s in bloom the air is dripping with the smell of sweet, rose-scented honey. Here are a few more photos in a post I wrote last spring: http://22.214.171.124/~christie/2013/04/17/the-season-of-singing-has-come/
Beautiful, Christie. Story-making brings some comfort to the hungry times; God is always writing something lovely, I think. And that tree! Not a pink fan, but I would have thousands of pictures of that gorgeousness if it were in my yard. That’s the best way to wear pink.
Yes, Christie, you’ve named something so true here and in such a lovely way. This is how we can be thankful even for the hunger, the waiting, because it bears such rich fruit.
This hits hard. This is the story of my family, scattered across 3 continents and kept apart by two oceans. Meetings and celebrations are precious, and you put into words that longing and emotion. Thank you for that!