Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy ... Easter?

Springtime is one of my favorite times of year out here in major metropolis East Coast America. It's truly lovely. The blooming trees and daffodils fill me with joy. Something I have noticed, however, is that for as long as we've lived here, Easter has never felt like Easter to me. That's not true, our first Easter here - 6 years ago - was beautiful: sunny, mild and glorious.

Every Easter since has seemed to follow weather pattern that is just antithetical to the point of Easter in my opinion. It basically goes like this. We have some warm days in early Spring ... or maybe we don't, but invariably, Easter Sunday is almost always overcast, wet, cold or some combination of the three. You don't feel inspired to wear sandals or pastel colors at all.

Today is of course, no different. Though it's partly sunny right now, it's also about 35 degrees outside. I believe the only reasonable response to that on an Easter Sunday is: you're bloody kidding me, right? Having spent the bulk of my childhood in the Panhandle of Texas which is prone to see it last snowstorms in mid-March and is not warm year-round like people think, I'd like to think maybe I'd be cool with this meteorological holiday abomination. But no. Because even in the Panhandle, it's generally 65 to 75 degrees on Easter Sunday, so you can still hunt eggs in short sleeves and not have to wear anything heavier than a light sweater to church. However, global climate change seems to have afflicted the native lands today as well. It's 45 degrees here, feeling 32; there it's 32 degrees feeling 22. (Note to self: never move further north than New York City.)

Why does this upset me so much? Because Easter should be mildly warm and inviting. It should be the time of the year when we feel comfortable enough to shed layers and let our bare skin soak in the first few kisses of the sun. Easter is when Jesus rose from the dead; it shouldn't feel dead and defeated outside. Rain on Easter is an unfortunate occasional occurrence. But after 7 years of rain or overcast or stupid cold as this, I'm prone to just ask Jesus to sleep in another week or so. If I were Christ, that's what I would do: hit the snooze button until it's picnic weather. "Melt the clouds of sin and sadness/ Drive the dark of night away" go some lines from "Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee." How can I feel like the clouds of sin and sadness are melted when it's bloody raining outside? Even from the pagan viewpoint of Easter or Spring festivities: seriously, do you feel fertile and like you want to celebrate renewal when people are wearing dark overcoats and the sun hides her face?

Honey thinks it's odd and amusing that I am so vehement about Easter Sunday weather. (Did I tell you there was a dusting of snow o'er everything at 7AM, yesterday? Infuriating.) His viewpoint, and I hope someday I can adopt it is that it's the weather and it's beyond your control, so why get bothered? I guess I have such fond memories of new dresses and playing barefoot outdoors on Easter Sunday after church, that it saddens me to see children here bundle up at church on Easter. Plus, I'm a very solar-powered individual, I've decided. I enjoy changing seasons and appreciate what they bring to the environment, but ultimately I LOVE the sun. And once winter is over, all I want is to bathe in the sun's light and soak up her warmth.

On the upside, Honey and I did go to church this morning. It was the first time this year. Last year was the first time ever that I hadn't worshipped on Easter and I felt empty for like a week. It's so strange, not having gone to church for all intents and purposes, in over two years that some Sundays really are more impactful than others. I love celebrating the resurrection, ultimately. Miss any other Sunday but the one that celebrates the defining event of the religion. We went to a neighborhood Lutheran church. We'd not done a Lutheran service in a while and we both forgot how much they love to do readings. It was like out the wazoo - almost Catholic.

The service was fair; as first time visitors, it felt a little alien, but we acclimated decently. The sermon was okay, but no really new inspiration on the Easter story - or at least, none that I picked up on. Maybe he needed to work on the delivery. In the 10 years Honey and I have been together, the ministers of churches we've belonged to have been excellent orators. Even my dad, whose tone tends to be more colloquial and less "speakery", is a really engaging storyteller, capable of great analogies. So our expectations are kind of artificially high. We did sing "Christ the Lord is Risen Today," which to me makes any Easter service, no matter how full of flourish or understated, complete. Two years ago, at my sister-in-law's church, we didn't sing it on Easter and it felt kind of like ... "no, I don't think he is risen today."

Of course, contributing to that sentiment was that it 48 degrees and rainy outside.

7 comments:

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Sonnjea B said...

Happy Easter! Where I grew up, it seemed like it was always struggling to be spring on Easter -- it LOOKED the part, but we were always shivery in our pastel dresses. Today, in a different part of the same state, it was just as I remembered it.

mommanator said...

In southern Nj we were also cold, however it didnt hamper our spirit. We had the Egg Hunt- we did have to bundle up, the kids didnt seem like the cold bothered them they loved it and it warmed us! People invited other people to my house and I thought I wouldn't have enough food! but none of us went hungry!
Our church did a beautiful presentation of the Passion Play- was so inspiring-we had to add a day so more folks could see it- despite what some may think-Christianity is NOT dead!

Molly Malone said...

mommanator left me a comment, but for some reason, my moderator won't allow me to publish it. so, i give it to you below.

"In southern Nj we were also cold, however it didnt hamper our spirit. We had the Egg Hunt- we did have to bundle up, the kids didnt seem like the cold bothered them they loved it and it warmed us! People invited other people to my house and I thought I wouldn't have enough food! but none of us went hungry!
Our church did a beautiful presentation of the Passion Play- was so inspiring-we had to add a day so more folks could see it- despite what some may think-Christianity is NOT dead!"

... I've never seen a passion play, but i'd like to. i will try to be less scroogey next year when i'm shivering in the dank. ;)

Darla D said...

I tried leaving a comment, too, Molly - what's up with your moderator allowing the first message (useful as it is), and kicking us off?

My comment, which evidently has disappeared into the void, was along the lines that maybe it would help to keep in mind the whole rebirth thing that's going on this time of year - the Easter holiday, the eggs, chicks, bunnies, etc. Every birth is different - some are hard, long labors, some are shorter, some end with premies, others end a couple weeks after the projected due date. Spring is like that -- you never know when it will get here, and sometimes you wish you could give it a nice big shot of Pitocin...

mommanator said...

darlad- I love yourmetaphors!

Clare said...

Hi Molly

I never know what to expect with Easter over here -- I tend to just take it as it comes. I remember once hunting for eggs in the snow; while this year, I got a touch of sunburn. Perhaps because the date varies, the weather varies, too.