Time to embrace renewal

Large cellophane-wrapped, multicolored baskets overflowed with marshmallow chicks, chocolate bunnies, jelly beans that sparkled like precious gems, lime-green grass, and Cadbury eggs that were way too sweet and perfectly messy.

Some of the contents within the basket sat crookedly in their designated spots with missing or accidentally winking bunny eyes. Garish ribbons adorned the necks of stuffed little creatures that would soon be swooped up and carried away by dancing children who had consumed way too much sugar and were nearing exhaustion from an Easter egg hunt that fueled their desire to explore.

This, my friends, was my childhood Easter. 

Mom and Dad and I would go to the Easter Sunday church service dressed in our finest new Easter clothes; stylish dresses for mom and me, and more than likely a new tie for my dad. I would glance down in disbelief at my white gloves and reach up as discreetly as possible to touch my Easter hat, which usually sported a bright ribbon which I would tie under my chin. My dress was always a shade of blue and my shoes had to be white. I would carry a little girl’s handbag made of straw that contained a pencil, a small notepad to record my thoughts and dreams, a couple of pieces of hard candy, an embroidered hanky, and fifty cents for the offering. I would try to listen to every word spoken by the pastor, but my mind would often wander. I knew an Easter dinner awaited us after church with ham, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, sweet potato casserole, rolls and a variety of cream pies. 

 I knew the true reason for Easter had nothing to do with shiny new clothing, candy and ham. Easter was a new beginning. A fresh start. A time to rejuvenate and heal. A time to mourn and then rejoice. Those opposed to the teachings of the Prophet, Jesus Christ, had attempted to take his life but they could not destroy his legacy of love, hope, kindness and forgiveness. 

There are been other prophets and there are many other religions much like Christianity. We are all united in our quest for tranquility. Our world has endured a past year filled with chaos. Easter is nearly here and it is the perfect opportunity to learn from our mistakes and start again. Let us not waste our energy on our differences. but rather draw strength from our commonalities. Let us not classify by age, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, or political view, but rather as human beings seeking harmony and peace among all nations. 

Will you join me in the resolve to put this planet back on its feet again? Please stay safe, be kind, and enjoy Easter, or time of renewal, in whatever way you choose. 

Belinda Ouellette lives in Caribou with her Goldendoodle, Barney. You may email her at belindaouellette9@gmail.com.

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