April 2017

That’s Easter to me…


What are the memories, the tastes and the smells of the special times?

At Christmas, for me it’s the smell of the tree in the lounge room. We always have a fresh one rather than an artificial tree. The pervading scent of pine (or fir) means that Christmas has truly arrived, no matter how many weeks the seasonal music has been playing in the shops.

Summer has never truly arrived for me, till I’ve been able to get the BBQ out of the garage and I’ve cooked the sausages and chops and unhurriedly we’ve eaten them around the patio table; the smell of the BBQ, the sound of the meat sizzling, the relaxing company and the sound of the birds. It is something relatively simple, but brings back and makes new memories, special memories.

Every two or three years we hire a holiday apartment near the shore of Lake Constance. Once we’ve arrived and settled in, we wander down to the Italian ice cream shop and buy two or three scoops. Then we head down to the bench and stare across the lake to the other side, hearing the water gently lapping, licking our ice cream, and I am truly on holiday.

And what is Easter to me? I guess it’s the taste of a hot cross bun. It’s the early morning communion at Leigh Beach accompanied by the sound of the seagulls. And finally, the sight of the Flowering Cross in church on Easter Sunday.

The tradition is that during Lent, the cross on display is taken from the previous year’s dead Christmas Tree. After watching the symbols of the crucifixion , the nails, the crown of thorns etc, added each Sunday, week by week, we arrive on Easter Sunday, and ‘miraculously’ the same tree is adorned with flowers, new life instead of dead wood and symbols of torture. Every year I am transfixed and transformed, and forcefully reminded that Jesus brings new life even in the most lifeless of places.

Now I know we cheat a bit. The church (ie the wonderful people who do the work) doesn’t take the Christmas tree and make it into a Lent cross – we have artificial Christmas trees, and reuse the Lent Cross each year. And I know the Lent Cross isn’t ‘miraculously’ made into the Flowering Cross, there is a special cross stored round the back that is constructed to hold the Easter Flowers, and many hours spent to place the flowers. But each year I am overwhelmed by sheer audacity of what is proclaimed. He is risen! Death is defeated! New life abounds! And that really is Easter to me.


April 2017