You gotta love it. Early this morning, I was reading my emails (97 in the cue – I can’t be that far behind. Really?) and was caught off guard by one of the most recent entries in particular, a subject line from our Premier, stating “Province deems Easter Bunny Essential Worker”. I started chuckling to myself. What in the world? It sounded weird coming from our island leader…good one Premier. I get quite a few communications from the provincial government as I like to keep informed of what is going on in and around the province and local communities; so this one caught my attention. Easter Bunny deemed as Essential Worker!! But then I quickly realized…holy lightning. Absolutely. It was Holy Thursday yesterday and Easter draws near !? Easter? My family. Church. Traditions. Easter bunny. Easter egg hunt. Easter meal. Easter gathering.
Shaking my head to clear the cobwebs, this is Good Friday and Easter Vigil is tomorrow and what? I have been so preoccupied of late with other things to be mindful of Holy Week and Easter Traditions as a person of faith (and Easter and family traditions as a mom and Rara) and in this, it is my cross to bear. Good Friday, where a Christian stands at the foot of the cross as marked by Jesus Crucifixion and death on a cross long long ago, leaving of himself or herself something there, and in turn bringing something of Christ Jesus into his or her own life. But the traditional gathering of the faithful will be partaking in Good Friday celebration in a way not done before…at home. I can only imagine how the Christian Churches (or any Church or ecclesial group) are responding in prayer and Traditional practices as the coronavirus-19 sweeps its path of harm and despair for many. To hear the pleas. If ever there was a time for prayer of strength and courage, it is now as Easter draws near. We are people of hope even in the darkness.
Turning to the other tradition of Easter, I cannot help but thank the Premier enough as a mother and a Rara (grandmother in grandson’s language term for me) for communicating something that impacts the young children and families on the island. The underlying message of compassion and care for Easter traditions of family gatherings, Easter bunny, Easter hunts…of course the Easter bunny is an essential worker. The fall out from the coronavirus impacts the very fabric and essence of the island community and its hospitality. The Premier reminds me of the editor of the New York Sun in 1897 and the letter received by a little girl about Santa Claus’s existence and his response to her, “Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus.” Hope. Assurance. Belief. The communication from the office of the Premier is a significant message in light of the unknown, carrying on a tradition that is important regardless of circumstance…deemed essential. Reminder that life continues and when faced with adversity we need to find ways to help people grapple with something beyond their control. But also, it is an important reminder that the health and safety of the island has to be maintained still which Easter characterizes – social distancing.
Pondering for the day – So today I think of traditions as Easter draws near and what is essential. I know I am not going to be able to make a treasure hunt or watch Easter bunny hide Easter eggs or set the table for a meal prepared for by loving hands (many hands make light work). Nor sit in pew at Easter Vigil in the darkness to see the candles light up as, one by one, the candles collectively bring us into the light. I won’t hear the voice of Amen as newly baptized and confirmed say YES to becoming a Christian. Nor will I. My favourite and most welcomed tradition is when family gathers at the dining room table and they are safe. Knowing my loved ones are with me and I can see them, hold them, be with them. But this year it is not going to be that way. Okay then. Putting things into perspective. So standing here, what is deemed essential? For me? For you? For all? Blessings and prayers.
FYI: On a side note, I just want to say to the Premier that I really do not want snowplow workers to be an essential worker anymore. Okay. Why one might ask?? I SPOKE WAY to SOON yesterday as I look outside my window this morning and SEE a blanket of SNOW covering the ground and the wind howling away as I take note that the forecast for today is snow…all day. Are you KIDDING me!!! Just saying. Be safe and healthy.