I’m thinking about touchstones. When I was little, I loved Easter, and still do. It’s my favorite holiday, honestly. I know most people prefer Christmas or Halloween. For me, though, there is something about giant, silent rabbits and a story about a really good guy being tortured and killed just for being a really good guy that is a little…well, scary. And yet, there is a feeling that as scary as it id, something beautiful is right around the corner.
The giant bunny was spooky, but he turned out to be playful. He hid eggs. He left baskets with awesome little toys and candy.
The ground was muddy and dead, but lilacs were peeking out. And daffodils.
Crucifixion is horrifying, but resurrection is miraculous and awe-inspiring.
Easter, more than any holiday, has those touchstones. In a chaotic world where we have no control, there is always that giant mechanism behind the curtain, cranking slowly and making sure that the cycle continues. What dies in winter will come back in spring.
One personal touchstone for me was that my grandma always made this lamb-shaped pound cake. It had coconut shavings on the frosting to look like wool, and black jellybeans for the eyes and nose. No matter what else the year had brought, when spring arrived, we would always have Grandma and her lamb cake.
My mom’s memories of that cake are different. She says that each year, my gram, her mom, would ruin the ears. My mom and she would giggle in the kitchen as they repaired the damage the best they could with toothpicks and generous lumps of frosting. I honestly don’t remember ever seeing any problems with the ears, so their workmanship must have been quite good.
I miss my grandma this time of year. I think my mom misses her, too.
We have a new baby in the family who was just born March 5, and I’m thinking I should learn how to make that lamb cake. I want baby Evie to know that in a chaotic world of change, we will be a touchstone for her. I want her to have a sense of cycles and returns and family.
I wanted to write about Coca-cola. I was thinking about how it is a touchstone for me. It is good to know it will be the same no matter where I travel. When I was homesick traveling in Venezuela, or during my foreign study in Japan, I knew I could buy a Coke, and I would be transported home.
I wanted to write about that. But my mind wandered, and I guess a different kind of homesickness brought me to this post.
Happy Easter, everyone. And happy spring and the start of a new season of new life. May the cycles keep turning.