It´s the first day in this year´s easter holiday, and birds are singing from a bright blue sky. We are at home, in our yellow house with the straw thatched roof, a post office from 1789, on the isle of Fanoe.
In Norway where I originally come from, the ideal easter holiday is set in the mountains, with lots of snow and sunshine, hot cocoa enjoyed in a ski slope, sitting on a self made snow bench…
That was my childhood. Cross country skiing with my parents and siblings, the first time I was only 3 years old. We would borrow a caravan or rent a small cabin. Some years, together with friends of my parents.
I hope I can make an easter holiday like that with my husband and kids some year soon. This year we simply don´t have the money for it. Last year I wanted to, but then we went with Not Big Bot Band instead, for two weeks in Spain. Which was lovely. (You can read more in the post Not Big Bot Band).
The years when I was a child-free (!) student in Bergen, ´92- 2004, I also enjoyed the easter holidays. Just in a different way. Most of the local people left town, to the mountain or abroad or to visit family or friends in other parts of the country. That meant there came a peace to town. The absence of crowdedness. Presence of quiet. The shops close as well, in Norway, all easter. So everybody buys lots of food and then no shops are open for 3-4 days. Peace and quiet.
What I used to do, is that just before easter I’d go to the library and borrow a big stack of books, cds, cartoons and dvds. Then I would go shopping; get wine and beer, lots of food and snacks and sweets. And a couple of grams of good Nepalese templeball, if it was around.
Then I would simply go home, close the door behind me and stay home alone all easter. Write poetry, watch movies, read, sleep, smoke, listen to cds and munch away at my chocolates and trays of marinated chicken… no internet connection in my home back then. Facebook had yet to be invented (at least I had never heard of it). It was like going into hibernation. Charging batteries. If the sun shone too insistingly, I would pack a rucksack and walk up into the mountain, I was living at the bottom of one of Bergen´s seven mountains that surround the city centre…
Yes. Those were the days too. So many nice ways of celebrating easter.
I´m not into the church´s story about it. The murdering of the kind man Jesus. A story of evil.
Yet at the same time a story of hope, or resurrection, eternal life, love… (hanging on the cross between the two thieves, encouraging them… and the love the women show Jesus in staying with him through his death process…) Okay, yes it is a good story, and an important one.
But I know it by heart. I have heard it told every easter throughout my school years.
I don´t dwell on it at easter, unless it crosses my path in a natural way, as a play or a concert, or a talk on tv or an article on Facebook about forgiveness or some fresh angle on the christian easter message.
In Scandinavia, there is a concept called “easter crime”, signifying a tradition of reading or watching criminal fiction stories through the easterdays, I guess originally thought to be a way the media could parallell the church´s five day long story. So the tv channels show a detective story in five episodes, from Thursday to Monday 2.day of easter…
Well, I´m just not into violence. It either horrifies or bores me or makes me sad or worried.
So I don´t follow that tradition.
Actually, as a mother I don´t have clear easter traditions (yet). Well no, that´s not true. Every easter the easter bunny calls us on the phone, and the children go hunting for eggs in the garden, reading a map that the easter bunny puts in our mailbox! 🙂
And then there is these cardboard eggs that are filled with sweets, that they get on the Saturday, Sunday, Monday. (Normally they only eat sweets Friday night, once a week, so it is a big deal for them, I remember it well from my childhood too, easter was about that big egg full of candy).
But apart from the bunny…and easter-eggs… no snowy holiday memories yet for my children. It stings a bit in my Norwegian heart when I say that, because we are so proud of our learning to ski at a very early age. But the explanation is that I gave birth around easter time, in 2010 and in 2012. And in 2011 and 2013 we had a tiny one to care for. Then last year there was the trip to Spain. And this year, no dow.
(These are not meant to be excuses, merely explaining factors. I don´t see myself as a victim of circumstances, and I´m aware everything is a question of priority. We could go for a snowy easter holiday if we felt it was more important than other things we want to spend our money on. And healthy babies can be taken anywhere as long as they are kept warm and well fed).
I hope that next easter we can be in snow somewhere. Money please do rain down on me and soak my life, thank you. (And next Summer we spend at home, so that budget can possibly be moved to easter).
This year… well. It starts out good with this clear blue sky.
Tuesday ´till Thursday my bonus son comes to visit from Copenhagen, with our little grandson. So the home will be full of good food and happy children and adults.
Friday there is that monthly jam session at my local bar on the corner. I will go there and sing and drum as I usually do that monthly night when it´s allowed.
The rest of the 10 days lie open. And that is actually a treat in itself. Maybe we will go to the swimming hall on the mainland. Nice big place with saunas and stuff.
Or maybe we will take the car and go visit someone a couple of hours´drive away.
Maybe we can arrange a visit from the lovely Burmese family (described in the post You speak English?) … I am hoping I can update this blog frequently, while the little ones enjoy quality time with daddy who is off from work for a change!
Knowing us, we will probably go out into the woods, maybe bring stuff to make a bonfire and cook some popcorn or bread or sausages or something else easy… (Fanoe has these great bonfire huts placed in the woods, where it is safe to make a fire)…
Knowing Fanoe, there´s probably some things going on to entertain the tourists, easter is the start of the tourist season here… so we can maybe join some event like that… (there is for example a tradition of a woman dressed as an easter bunny, who leads the participants around in nature, hunting for easter eggs in the dunes by the beach and stuff… Maybe this is the year where we finally take part in that fun sounding event…)
Yeah. This easter we just have time off. And that is a gift in itself.
(Like I also talked about in the post “Family quality time” the other day).
Right now i will finish this blogpost and then go downstairs and see if brunchtime is here soon.
After that, I know my five-year-old daughter wants to bake that cake we didn´t get time to make after dinner yesterday.
And I reckon I have to check out the temperature in the garden. We have the nicest closed garden, all private, walled with tall green hedges on all sides, once the greenery returns to life.
The baby leaves on the trees are still close to microscopic. But all of a sudden it will all just sprout, these secret sudden signals that nature gives to itself, that NOW is the time where we BURST OUT and GROW and LIVE again… Aaaaaaah springtime……. “hope is light green”, we say in Scandinavia. That´s probably because of those baby leaves, them bright green little dots, that may be covered in snow, but seeing them does mean that the sun is on its way back to us, after another loooong, daaaaark winter…
So seeing the colour light green gives us hope…
I will enjoy this easter holiday immensely. I can feel it in me booooones….. 🙂
Snow and skis or no snow and skis. As long as there is chocolate and some days of lazy leisure!
Oh and here comes my eldest daughter, age 10, and asks if we can put up the easter decorations now.
I completely forgot all about those. Hahahaha…. it´s good they can help me create easter. Their self made feathery chickens and such, that they bring home from kindergarten and school and I keep them in a cardboard box for next year… Yes. Nice tradition.
Happy eastering, dear reader.
I hope you will enjoy it, no matter what content you give your easter days.
Christian or not, living in a christian country or not.
Just enjoy these days from today 28/3 and until 6/4.
Meaning is created by our selves, in the meeting between external impressions and internal expressions.
Hah! That was a pretty neat line.
Between what happens to you and how you choose to sense it and interpret it, is how you make meaning.
In that space there. You create the content. Put meaning into the empty space.
We are indeed creators.
May this spring bring hope to all of us.
Bring love and compassion, peace and quiet satisfaction.
Such is my wish.
I finish this post with three images of my two youngest mini-mes, taken in the Fanoe forest a month or two ago. So we DID play in the snow the winter of 2014/15. Not a lot. But yes we did. 🙂