Happy Easter! I was contemplating this morning, after the prompting of our fantastic minister, on the meaning that Easter holds for me. I thought of the traditional response of the Easter story in the Bible, but as a non-believer of the Christian faith, I was quickly forced to put that one aside. I then remembered the repeated advocations of this morning's service of Easter as an expression of rebirth, both divine and present. Closer, but still not quite.
I will tell you the meaning of my Easter: food. Please, allow me to explain.
I remember my mother hiding chocolates in the garden for me to find, invariably resulting in my mother attempting to remember where they had all been put when several were found to be missing. One year, she had the brainwave to hide them the night before, resulting in several fox-chewed and even more drizzled-upon chocolates. Yet despite these challenges, every year there was chocolate in the garden, right up until I left home, and I would be dragged around the garden in my mother's excited quest. I remember painting eggshells and decorating the kitchen with yellow tissue paper and bunting.
Easter was also an excuse to cook; we produced heavenly cakes and muffins from our kitchen, much to the delight of those around us. When I was six, I insisted on cooking my father something by myself, which consisted of everything besides the use of the oven. Unfortunately, without a concept of either cooking or when something is inedible, my father was pressured bravely, in an act of pure love, to eat a small cooked tartlet filled with eggshell fragments that crunched delightfully. In fact, I still remember that particular tone of crunch.
My perception of Easter therefore, is one of food; the sharing of a communal gift and expression of love, a sense of joy in exploring the newly-emerging garden and the rather daft adventures of a six-year-old with two sacrificial, egg-crunching parents. Yet all of these memories reach beyond food - to chocolate. Once it was the joys of its sweetness and it's limited availability to my six-year-old self, but there is something else I see in chocolate. Not it's sweetness, or its taste, but rather its production.
Chocolate is brought to us from a bean, processed, blended and tempered into what we see. Is life not exactly like this? We are tiny beans, blended and tempered into sweetness from experience and hardship. The more we live, the more sweeter the joys of life become.
Eat well from the chocolate bar of life, my friends!