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By Laurel Pattenden

Spring and Easter go hand in hand each and every year. This spring and Easter we can also add in the easing and lifting of the Covid-19 restrictions.

It has been a long time since we could attend an Easter brunch, to casually shop around allowing the Easter bunny to find goodies to fill our Easter baskets anew. However, it feels like an even longer time since our church doors have been opened wide with the smell of Easter lilies welcoming us.

At the time of writing this article, I feel more like a late, reluctant, February groundhog burrowed away in a sort of physical inertia. Hey, do you remember the old expression “stick in the mud”? That mild insult we would sling at our friends when they were unwilling to participate in a game that we personally wanted to play. When we felt they were being grumpy or boring. Personally, I don’t know why that saying came to mind now. Does anybody even use that saying anymore?

Well, COVID-19 has left me feeling like a “stick in the mud”. I am feeling stuck and probably very boring to those around me. Perhaps a bit more grumpy and tad more irritable which I know is very hard to believe! Do any of you feel like this?

We have lived over two long years with a hyper-sense of hesitancy and fear that has definitely lowered my se sentir joyeux (feeling joyous). Joy is not hesitant nor is it fearful.

So along comes spring and Easter coinciding with the easing of the COVID restrictions. The season of spring is not hesitant nor is it fearful. Spring can be slow, but it never gets stuck like a stick in the mud. Pussy willows are willingly vulnerable to show their fuzzy under bellies in the cold winds.

Crocuses push their golden-green stems through the frozen ground, blooming unafraid. Spring comes, is here, and it is joyful.

Easter, also, is not hesitant nor is it fearful. The stone had been rolled away from the tomb when Mary Magdalene peered inside. The angels inside asked her “Why are you weeping”? Then Jesus, himself, said “Why are you weeping”?

The question had to be repeated to her. To be emphasized to break through to her. She needed to get unstuck. Mary did not remain hesitant or fearful. She did not remain “a stick in the mud” in her sorrow but joyfully ran to the house where the disciples where hiding.

Hiding behind a locked door, the disciples were feeling hesitant and fearful until Jesus appeared. He said to them “Peace be with you”. Then he said it again “Peace be with you”. He had to repeat himself because they didn’t get it the first time around. They needed it repeated to get unstuck. The disciples left the room and re-entered the world with purpose and joy. They were no longer stuck in their hesitancy and fear.

We have been stuck in our locked rooms for quite a while. We have become hesitant and fearful but as we peer into the world the angels are saying “Why are you crying?” Then Jesus enters our homes and says, “Peace be with you”. He then tells us to go out into the world and spread the joy. Happy Easter.  

Laurel is retired and likes to spend her time in her art studio. 

(Illustration: Laurel Pattenden. PRETTY BIRD SERIES. Mixed media, 2022)