Easter Gratitude

easter bouquet 2

It’s a glorious day here. Daffodils and hyacinths, tulips and primroses and all around the sound of birdsong and the smell of freshly mown lawns and newly dug soil. This bouquet was an impulse buy, a heartwarmer to celebrate spring and the coming of Easter. I’m constantly trying to cut down on caffeine and wine, so flowers have always been my replacement drug of choice. When I can, I fill the house with them. Oh how I wish you could stick your face in these and smell the jonquils; they’re so heady it’s like drinking in  fragrance and they make you raise your shoulders with breathing them in then you sigh out pure bliss…

I love when Greek Orthodox Easter and western Easter fall on the same day, as they do this year. It means that my kids’ candles and presents, sent by godparents in Greece, arrive at the same time as their chocolate Easter eggs from grandparents here. We normally have to have two celebrations.

0904100002We have a feast on Easter day, with red  boiled eggs, traditionally dyed and decorated on the Thursday before Easter, and all kinds of salads and a roast. I miss being in Greece on the Friday before Easter as that’s when church bells toll mournfully, the whole day long, on every island and in every village, town and city. I also miss being part of Anástasi  – the Resurrection – on the Saturday night.

At midnight, the first few candles in each church are lit from the holy flame then one worshipper ignites a neighbour’s candle with love and chanted blessings – Christ is risen, truly risen – until everyone’s taper is lit. Happy crowds carrying  flickering candles walk home from church, like riversrust seaside candle of light winding through the darkness while fireworks explode into dazzling bouquets above their heads in a vast black velvet sky.  It’s good luck if you manage to keep a candle lit all the way home then mark the sign of the cross with smoke on the lintel above the front door as a blessing to last the whole year.

pink seaside Easter candleThese are photos from a few years ago; my kids’ godmothers – who live in different seaside towns and have no contact with each other – both sent them beautiful seaside themed candles that matched their rooms.

I’d like to leave you today with one of my favourite poems in the whole world, ee cummings’ i thank you God…

As I said the first time I posted this poem, “I love the way ee cummings’s mind moves. I love the way he makes me explore the possibilities of my own language, searching for meanings in what’s not there and the why and the where of what is there. I love his delight in words, letters, syntax, symbols and sound and the way he expresses life and love.”

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing—lifted from the no
of all nothing—human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Janice

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Thank you for visiting, and if you’re a long time reader, for your patience; you’ll have noticed this was a Frankenstein-ed patchwork post. I’m longing to redesign the whole blog and keep only a bouquet of the best bits, but blog-gardening’s hard work; pruning, weeding and taking cuttings and seeds from old posts involves a lot of letting go. I made some wonderful memories and friends here in my wee blogging home, so it’s not been easy. Then there are all the new technical skills I’ve had to absorb. Fun, but a bit like back breaking digging in tough terrain!

6 thoughts on “Easter Gratitude

    • What a beautiful, heartwarming thing to say – thank you! I’m glad you’re still around. I remember your encouragement during the last bit of blogging I did, before I walked off into the sunset. Are you still writing? Blogging? Counselling? I hope so. I have the loveliest readership anyone could have – so much sensitivity, wisdom and creativity shows up in these comment boxes; so many stories. I hope you’ll share yours with us here someday. If you celebrate Easter, have a wonderful time!

  1. I am so pleased to see a new post up here. I meant to comment at the “The Desire Map,” but got up in something and forgot. I will do it after this comment.

    First, I loved these words: “Oh how I wish you could stick your face in these and smell the jonquils; they’re so heady it’s like drinking in fragrance and they make you raise your shoulders with breathing them in then you sigh out pure bliss…” Certainly, there have been times when the scent of a certain flower has me sigh! You did the same thing with these descriptive word:~) Beautifully written.

    Not being religious in the sense of specific traditions, I enjoyed reading about your love of the Easter celebration and what it means to you and your family.

    The poem by E. E. Cummings was also a nice reminder of what Easter is all about. Happy Easter to you.
    Sara recently posted…A Mature WomanMy Profile

    • …and a beautiful flower-filled spring to you, too! I guessed you were a flower addict from your ‘April’ post. 😉 Thanks for popping over – I know you’re busy.

      I’ve decided to keep going with my springclean. It feels like home every time I log on! I’ve had so much pleasure since I logged back on, meandering through folks’ blogs, commenting, responding to the lovely comments I get here, seeing the world through my ‘longing to share it all!’ filter again. It’s the same way I feel when I start painting after years away from it, like I’m in my element. I’ve missed writing, crafting the sounds and the rhythms, editing, tweaking… And I’ve been reading voraciously, taking ‘blog photos’ again, like someone guzzling water after they’ve been in a long, long sleep. There’s been a lot of melancholy, too – so many ghosts – but that’s my own fault for not keeping in touch with folk.

      Good luck with your fiction project!

  2. Hi Janice – love the bouquet – and if it was here I’d be happier? Though I have narcissi, daffs, freesias et al here too – so why am I complaining .. the fluffy pinks are missing and the anemones – my mother’s favourite.

    I’ll be back to read – after the A-Z is over!! Have a love peaceful Easter and I’d love to have experienced a Greek Easter … cheers Hilary
    Hilary recently posted…Q is for Quicksand, Quartz, Quay …My Profile

    • Hi Hilary. Thanks for popping over! You have a lovely Easter, too! Visit when you can – I’ve done three posts in three years so I suspect you won’t miss anything while you’re doing your A-Z series! 😉 It really is breathtaking – I sincerely have no idea how you manage to compile such an eclectic collection of facts, photos and goodies into coherent, flowing, entertaining pieces in such a pressured time scale! Please turn it into an ebook so even more folk can learn about guillemots’ eggs!!! They really tickled me and would make a great title! 🙂

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