+Easter is the season my heart and soul craves all year long. I am reminded once again to slow down. To give attention to the season forming around and within. The feel of autumn sunshine on my skin, the crisp of a cool morning and the sound of trees rustling and unleaving. I know the abundance of life and love given to me, mysterious and undeserved, and am thankful. I hear the goodness of God in the sound of raindrops on the roof after weeks of dryness. And in the efforts of baking, stacking the woodpile, covering eggs with tissue paper, keeping a candle-light vigil on the kitchen window sill, holding a book in my hands, peeling a quince, hugging my menfolk tight, tasting wood smoke on my tongue, singing in jolly abandon at church. Every year I hope in the promise of Easter - in the offering and the renewing, in the recklessness and the lament, in the anticipation and the sweetness - and the hope changes me.
Easter this year was brimming with sunshine and activity - a stark contrast to last year when we were at the beginning of a long state-wide lock down and all public celebrations were cancelled // I made a double batch of gluten free hot cross buns and quince tart tatin to share with friends who visited on Good Friday. We went for a rambling walk down to the river and made simple crosses from palm fronds which we let fall off the bridge with simple utterances of thanksgiving // My sister and her partner visited on Saturday and there was lots of happy chatter, trampolining, autumn leaves, carting water to chickens, checking on newborn calves, cups of tea // On Sunday I helped lead a celebratory church service which included a treasure hunt, puppet show and making these colouring books based on "I am" statements of Jesus for the little folk to fill in. Afterwards we came home to a chocolate egg hunt that my sister hid for the boys, and the afternoon was slow and sweet.
"Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks,
Our peace in His will
And even among these rocks
And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea,
Suffer me not to be separated
And let my cry come unto Thee"
All through Lent I pondered these words of T. S. Eliot from his poem "Ash Wednesday", I prayed for fresh perspective, for peace in His will, and thanksgiving for everything my hands and feet touch that reminds me of my creator, rock, fortress and deliverer //
He is risen indeed!
ABOUT the author
Emily Clare Sims is a farmer and mama to three young boys. Each day she looks for ways to notice beauty, contemplate her faith and savour the seasons...