Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pastel beyond the Pale

Saturday, my neighborhood had its annual Easter Egg Hunt; an event that seems to have less to do with the Christian holiday than it does with festivities in the Roman Coliseum. With the scream of the starting whistle, hundreds of children barreled toward the candy colored plastic eggs strewn haphazardly around an open field. Elbows flew, teeth were bared, hearts broken, hopes and fingers stomped. Within thirty seconds, a torrent of tears were streaming down children’s faces; a battle field of skinned knees, stolen treasures. What did they have to show for their efforts? Sugary candy and toys that posed choking hazards to children under three, all the kids were under three. As Easter Egg Hunts go it was a rousing success, and none of the pastel clad children seemed to mind that it was a balmy 31 degrees out and overcast. If you strip away the kids, and the toys, and the laughter, and the tears, you are left with eggs and bunnies; universal symbols of fertility and new life. The thing of it is, February sets records for its cold temperatures and March has continued this frosty trend. While the symbols spoke of new life, the world remained dead. No flowers have bloomed, grass is still brown and brittle, trees have yet to bud. This Easter Holiday confronted us with new life in a world still frozen in wintery gloom. But the kids didn’t mind. They knew spring is just around the corner. We who are caring for the dying spend our working days and nights in the winter; in the times where lives become barren. Each day we encounter and care for those whose potential on this earth is all but spent. For the loving, for the caring, which each of you are, this can be brutal. The winter of death can chill us to the bone. But there is a lesson in those children bounding over frozen ground after those eggs. With winter all around, they looked to the spring just out of view, the pastel beyond the pale, the feast that will mark the end of the famine. May we who stand by the bedside always live in the hope that even as death comes, it never comes alone. Just beyond the horizon, just coming into view is its constant traveling companion. The trees will bud again, the flowers will bloom again, because wherever death goes, new life is never far behind, and there is comfort in that. For more check out gracefulmournings.com
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