Easter Saturday in the season of confinement

It’s so quiet the cooing doves are noisy

Easter Saturday afternoon and it’s so quiet the doves on the next roof cooing, are echoing loudly in our courtyard. The air is just moving and the sun a little too warm to sit in for long with still winter white skin. This spring day is just about perfect, a slight breeze wafting up coolly from the river, and the air fragrant with cherry blossom, crab apple, and wisteria. I’m sure I can hear at least 10 different birds call and coo, buzzing flies zip in and out of the house visiting from the countryside, there is a faint hum of the bees busy in the garden. Today should be a happily busy day, we should have met and chatted with our neighbours at the Easter market, exchanging greetings and family news. Matt and I should be discussing our shopping list, for our family and friends who should be coming for lunch tomorrow. They are not alas. It was a shock to realize Good Friday was upon us, as the days have moulded into a seemly endless new routine on nothing much at all, each day we watch the spring come to oiur garden with such colour and beauty. Life quietly has returned, nature is busy and stong we are languid.

I wondered over my morning coffee where exactly the treasured pile of hand painted eggs were? They should be piled high in the centre of the dining room table, a happy and reminder of chocolate and Easter. Painted by the children and me long ago, for a fun craft Easter activity to give the time of year some meaning and ritual. I do like the tradition of family gatherings and stopping a couple of times a year. We were not religious family yet found our own way to embrace the spirit of the festivals. I’m sure in 6 months I will find the eggs in their blue plastic lunch box, in the back of one of the possible cupboards here in this house. Yet with no one here but us, and the daily preoccupation with the Confinement, it did not seem worthwhile to search.

After returning from a brief shop for necessities, I caught Matt putting something with gleaming gold wrapper in the top kitchen cupboard where he knows I can't reach. The gentle tinkle of a Lindt Bunny bell gave me delighted reassurance my favourite Easter morning treat was there waiting for me. As very young child I lay in terror on Easter Saturday night convinced I could hear the huge Easter Bunny with his long feet flopping up our timber staircase, of course heading for my room to deposit a basket of eggs. Terrified at the mere thought of that 6-foot-high huge bunny that must be lurking outside my bedroom door, but oh how I wanted those eggs wrapped in garish coloured foil.

On recalling this decades later, I laughed with realization, suddenly thinking of course it was my mother, wearly climbing the stairs for one last time that day. But still the memory stays with me, 53 years later an embedded memory of Easter and Easter eggs.

Wherever you are, Happy Easter and thank you for reading.

Vanessa Williamson

11 April 2020




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