When I was a child, Sunday had a happy specialness, Mass, a big breakfast, and visits with cousins, aunts, and uncles. I always felt at home with them. My dad worked every Saturday, so Sunday was a cherished day off, a time to rest and re-create. It helped us see the coming week with a new vision, a renewed energy, and recover from the previous week. Each Sunday had an Easter dimension within!
When our children were young, we would do a project with construction paper to prepare for Easter. The concept was to create a three-dimensional “garden.”
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Our youngest child, now an adult with a family of his own, will turn forty-two years old this week. I don’t know if it’s a bigger passage for him or us. I remember he was born on Easter Monday. We anticipated an Easter baby, but the timing of birth, as we know, is according to nature’s time. “Timing is everything,” as the expression goes. I suspect there are things about birth and life that both our children have learned as parents that we could never have adequately explained when they were growing up.
I remember as a child during Lent, my mother and I would walk to weekday Mass in the late afternoon. It was about a fifteen-minute walk. The sun would be setting, and the church’s west-facing stained glass windows would cast long streams of color across the floor and benches. On the way home, it would be dusk, and the fading light of late day would gradually give way to darkness.
I ventured into the garden the other day. The snow had melted, and I thought it a good time to weed out dried overgrowth and winter clutter in preparation for planting. I carefully worked around the good herb plants, preserving the oregano, mint, and lemon balm. Lent is a good time for preserving what is good and weeding out what is not.
During their elementary school years, we generally would pick our children up at the end of their day. Often we would ask them how their day went. The older would reply with a detailed description of almost every event, classroom topic, and lunchtime conversation. This commentary would take a while. The younger would simply respond, “fine,” “good,” or “okay.” We came to respect and treasure both response styles.