My Englishman and I were tackling the domestic preparation for the upcoming Easter weekend.
These conversations are often fraught and this one was no less so. I tried to lasso him into it by asking him to put some moolah into the joint account for groceries.
“It’s Good Friday tomorrow,” I say hoping that hint will be enough.
I pull the lasso back in and retie it, then hoick it out for another go.
“I haven’t done any shopping for Easter at all.”
“We don’t need to have Easter. Aren’t they all a bit old for that?”
My face fell. My eyes bulged with incredulity.
CAN YOU GROW OUT OF CHOCOLATE?
My eyes narrowed.
“I don’t think you can grow out of Easter eggs. I mean obviously the Easter bunny doesn’t visit any more, he’s buggered off with Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. But we still give each other Easter eggs.”
I’m quietly dying inside, considering an Easter without my favourite dark chocolate. Don’t want none of that milky crap. It has to be like my coffee (and how I used to want my men, before I met my Englishman) – dark and rich.
“We stopped celebrating Easter after I turned 16 or so” he says.
I’m shocked into silence!
We stopped having pudding when I turned 10 or so because my mother decided her girls didn’t need the extra calories..but to not have Easter? I’m sure he’s mistaken. He probably just doesn’t remember.
I hushed his mouth with a kiss, grabbed the keys and went out to face Sainsburys. On the drive up the road I reflected on our conversation. Is it possible to grow out of Easter? And is Easter really all about the chocolate?
I’ve always been a huge fan of Easter. In fact I prefer it to Christmas. Not just because it is the central theme in the Christian faith, but because it is really the central theme in life itself. The answer to the age -old question -‘Why do we die’ is simply ‘So we can be reborn.’
The Phoenix myth – of birth, death and regeneration or rebirth – is a feature of all of the major religions and belief systems, with the obvious exception of atheism, and is also confirmed in nature. I love seeing that confirmation all around me that life is good, especially when I’m feeling down.
When the kids were little and we lived in New Zealand, Easter fell in Autumn and I would take the time to pot some daffodil bulbs for the Spring in September. Throughout the wet and often cold winter months I would be reminded that Spring relief will come every time I looked at the pots on the patio, and when the first new shoots appeared it felt as if I was experiencing the Easter miracle all over again.
Easter is a celebration for those ‘try-hards’ who just feel ground down by life’s trials. For those who struggle with ilness, and lack of money, and loneliness and isolation.
I’m one of them.
Easter offers hope that one day things will get better. That one day Spring will come and the dark winter of our discontent will pass. Easter isn’t ‘owned’ by the Christian religion, it’s echoed in every belief system, just as hope is. And it seems to me that chocolate is the perfect reminder that life is good. If not good right now, it will be eventually.
What do you think? Do we ever grow out of Easter?
And what’s better – Easter or Christmas?