After reading all the thoughtful and thought-provoking comments on that last post, I have spent more than one day puzzling over whether or not to let the Easter bunny hop off into the sunset. When I couldn’t come to a satisfactory conclusion, I decided to go back to the source.
My source, that is.
“Mahhhhhhmmm,” I cried when my mother picked up the phone, just as my boys yell for me from the depths of their rooms, “I don’t know what to do about Easter.”
We discussed my dilemma, the sense I have of being trapped by the trappings of our traditions, the unhappy disconnect between the purpose of the celebration and its expression, my discomfort with the commercialism that has crept all over the holiday like some sort of toxic mold.
She is devoutly Catholic, so her go-to response when asked how to rein in the sugar-crazed insanity is to go back to the story of Christ.
“That’s not going to work for me,” I pointed out. It is a source of great sadness to her that most – make that all – of her children have, how might I put this politely, ambivalent feelings about Catholicism.
In the awkward pause that ensued, I changed the subject to my paper easter egg. One thing I realized after posting the picture of my beautiful paper egg is that there isn’t an Easter bunny anywhere to be seen on it. Just daffodils, narcissus, forget-me-nots and pansies. What, I wondered, would happen if I simply took the Easter bunny out of the equation?
I mean, I love the concept of the egg hunt. I can easily see the egg hunt as a metaphor for the essential human quest for meaning, for wonder, for a connection with the mysteriousness of life.
In that scenario, the eggs themselves are the point. Not the candy, not the coins. The eggs become symbols of what we hunt for, all our lives.
I am so fine with this idea.
Did I tell you my mother is no slouch in the holiday department? Well, check this out. She had the idea of writing words on the eggs. You know those crayons that you can use to write on the eggs so that, after you dye the eggs, the letters stand out bright white against the color?
Well my genius mother suggested writing words on the eggs. Words like: Joy. Wonder. Enlightenment. Mystery. How’s that for deepening the tradition, reconnecting with the point of it all?
So now, my brilliant readers, will you help me with my re-born Easter egg hunt? I’ve got a lot of eggs to hide and those eggs need words. What do you hunt for in your life? What would you most like to find?