Every so often the early morning sun glints through my windows in a way that reminds me of Easter morning. I wake up to these shimmery rays and I love holding on to this sunshiny memory for a few seconds.
Then the light shifts and it’s gone.
I think these familiar sunbeams remind me of the excitement of waking up early to search for my cellophane-wrapped Easter basket filled with trinkets and chocolate bunnies. There are other Easter memories, particularly those involving hats, that I'm not so eager to recall.
|I carry my first purse while my sister clutches a toy.|
One year when I was five or six my mother made me wear an aqua blue headscarf with floppy white petals hanging off of it that tied under my chin like a kerchief. I hated it and begged her not to make me wear it. She said it perfectly matched my new aqua blue coat and yes, I had to wear it.
I remember being mortified wearing it into my church class with those petals swinging in the breeze off the top of my head.
I think this might have been when I started forming strong opinions about what I wanted to wear, how my hair should look and what I thought was fashionable. Because that headscarf definitely wasn't.
On Easter there was always a second basket coming my way from my aunt. She filled baskets with chocolate horses and kittens and puppies for my sister and chocolate shoes and ballet slippers and ice skates for me. She spent a lot of time painstakingly searching for what we would like.
As I got older, I started to appreciate her extraordinary efforts to choose things that would delight us. After she was gone, I regretted not always being grateful for all she did so we would know how special we were to her.
Even as we grew into teenagers, my mother and aunt still filled Easter baskets with little surprises. My first fashion magazines, my first bottle of nail polish in shades of tulip pink and my first pot of eyeshadow in a shockingly bright hue of green.
|My mother (left) and my aunt Terri show off their Easter eggs.|
These little things made me feel special, cared about and oh-so-grown-up.
This individual consideration reminds me of my favorite part of the Easter resurrection story. Jesus cares about meeting Mary personally when she arrives to find the tomb empty.
She's upset and thinks she's talking to the gardener until Jesus calls her by name. Then she recognizes his voice.
While she was searching for him, he’d been there all along.
Just like he is for me. While I'm wondering what to do, deciding where to go, he's been there along. Calling my name.
Not out loud, but in ways that mean something only to me. In details and circumstances and words that only I would care about. Personally and especially for me.
I could think of them as happy coincidences maybe. But I don't. I think these instances are designed to help me feel God's love.
It's the thoughtful gift of a bracelet that arrives unexpectedly on my doorstep. It was from a friend I hadn't talked to in a while who had no idea I'd admired it.
It's the email that arrives with a blog post by a writer that seems as if she were reading my mind, my life and my heart. I feel like she wrote it just for me.
It's the trill of my phone with an entertaining text from a friend telling me he wants to cheer up my Monday. He offers kind words exactly when my spirits are flagging.
It's walking into a store and finding my favorite ring back in stock. Mine had lost some stones but when I looked online to replace it, it was sold out. Now a tray of rings sits on the counter, but there's just one left in my size.
I'm beginning to think the early morning rays of sunlight aren't just reminding me of Easter memories. I'm remembering feelings of being loved and special.
As a daughter, as a niece and as a child of God.
And I've also decided that the Easter bonnets that made me feel so silly probably weren't so bad either. My mother might have been on to something. If the hats helped my wildest hairs behave, maybe I ought to do a little hat shopping before Easter Sunday arrives.
I'm linking up today with Bonnie Gray at the Faith Barista as we share our Easter posts. Click the image to read more!