April 5, 2015
I remember Easter Sunday mornings growing up. Waking early. Easter basket of goodies, plastic eggs to find with candy inside. A new dress, usually big and frilly to wear to church, and the sign of big change, the happiest event of the year to date – the wearing of the WHITE SHOES! This is the moment of monumental change. Darkness into light. Winter into warmth. No matter the outside temps, southern fashion rules dictated the season change. You can’t go back to black: well, unless it was black shiny patent-leather shoes. Strappy-styled sling-backs preferred. Dark-colored clothes, long-sleeves and bulky sweaters are banished to the back of the closet. Light, happy colors move to the front!
I remember some years in which the new white dress-up Mary Janes were stiff, uncomfortable, and caused painful, little blisters. Pastel Easter dresses, even when layered with the obligatory white dressy cardigan with pearl buttons, often wasn’t warm enough when Easter was “early.” Change can be uncomfortable.
The yearly observance of Easter, the way it’s celebrated in Christian churches, forces us in one week’s time to experience (in a seemingly manic fashion) gruesome darkness that explodes into a giddy light. Epic change. Ready? Or not.
A palm-frond parade of happy children one Sunday, sad songs that are slow and in minor keys that week – for church services most people don’t attend – switch to trumpets and loud pipe organ music playing the following Sunday morning. Easter. Resurrection Sunday.
As the choir and congregation begin to sing MY favorite Easter hymn, the “Gravy Song” (Up From the Grave He Arose), I know I will feel the stiffness and the pinch of my Easter shoes as I stand and loudly join the happy chorus.
Balancing joy with pain. Hope with sorrow. Faith with fear. Tradition with change.
It’s difficult to balance when your new Easter shoes hurt.
I bought Haley’s new white Mary Janes, the sleeveless, frilly dress and the obligatory white dressy cardigan with pearl buttons to wear to “Big Church” this morning. If the shoes start to hurt HER feet, they’re coming off!
Happy Easter, Y’all.