Sunday, March 30, 2008

Chocolate Eggs and Easter Bunnies

When I was growing up the Berenstain Bears had an Easter special in which stereotypical male-doofus Papa Bear tells the cubs, via cartoon montage, that Easter is all about "CHO-colate eggs and EA-ster bunnies," only to be corrected by always-right Mama Bear's montage about nice secular Easter things like love, family, and loving your family. It was an irony not lost on us kids that this corrected version of Easter still had nothing to do with the crowning glory of Christian belief, nor do I now miss the irony that we have inherited many of our Easter traditions from the pagans and have only mildly Christianized some of them.

Well, it's not particularly easy to capture the true meaning of Easter on film, as much of what makes the holiday special to me is either defined by absence (the empty tomb) or is too big to do justice through imagery. This post is therefore something of an apology for the fact that What Easter Means to Me and What My Easter Pictures Look Like are two very different things. If I had a recording I could play for you a beautiful song we sang for our Easter services, taken from those wonderful lines in Isaiah:

Surely He hath borne our griefs
And carried all our sorrows
Surely He hath borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows

He was wounded for all our sin
Bruised by all our iniquity
And with His stripes we all are healed
We are healed

We are healed.

I don't have a recording of that simple, profoundly moving song, but I do have pictures of kids looking for chocolate eggs and Easter bunnies, so here they come:

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Old Man Winter

Old Man Winter finally paid us a visit last week, overwhelming local infrastructure with a massive two inches of snow. With schools closed and my office opening two hours late, we wisely chose to pass the time making tracks and pelting each other in the neck with snowballs. I wanted to shovel the driveway but Ian beat me to it and wouldn't let me help.
Nora didn't really know what to make of everything--probably she sensed that something was not quite right, but lacked the vocabulary to describe it.
A couple days later I dragged the kids with me to the Valley Garden Park (another donated du Pont estate. Thank you, du Ponts). We spent much of the time following the tracks of various beasts, including these from Bambi and Thumper.
As we scaled icy cliffs and crossed great brown meadows, the kids each developed their own style of stick brandishment: Stage magician,
Saturday's Warrior,
and Yukon Ho!
Peeking through the snow were the first buds of spring. Watch your back, old man. Here come the young upstarts.