With the Easter weekend upon us, it’s easy for me to feel a little more homesick then usual. It’s always around the holidays that I miss the slowed down, laid back, celebrating and family embracing time even more. Home is where you make it, but it is the people in your life that make all the difference and today I’m missing my people from across the pond. As usual, I get sucked up in the hectic, and working in retail is not forgiving when it comes to the holidays. There is no time off and I’m usually making everybody else’s holiday, with little to no time left to enjoy it for myself. This year however, I plan on having my own little Easter celebration, even if it is a delayed one. I’m going back into time, to revisit my childhood days, to color and decorate my eggs and indulge in a few Easter childhood memories. Carelessly and silly, I already find myself giggling at the thought of it. I know that for a few hours I will enjoy the lightheartedness and the responsibility free feel that dates back to one of my earliest childhood memories and I might even bring the kite. A dragon that I never flew before. When it comes to Easter, I remember a few neat traditions in Germany, when we decorate the many fragile egg shells, which are blown out eggs, adorned with ribbons, felt, beads and what not. Just like Christmas ornaments, the eggs would hang from a few branches, kept in a centerpiece like vase if inside, or they could be used to decorate an entire tree or bush outside. It’s a sight to behold as you drive through the country and spot the neatly decorated trees along with other landmarks such as decorated Well’s or fences. “Osterhasen” (Easter bunnies) are never too far off and add to that special feel of the festivities.
In addition to Christmas markets which sprout up in December, Germany has Easter markets with outside booths and vendors who line the roads and sell their goods amongst great food and a cozy get together atmosphere. It’s that atmosphere, that time spent together, the closeness that I miss and which makes the holidays here pass without any significant remembrance. I miss the time to breath, to relax and to enjoy each other and the memories that are made during those times.
It’s not unusual to see families head outdoors and roll their hard boiled decorated eggs in the grass. A fun little game to see which egg could last the longest and to crown the bearer as the toughest of them all. I can’t wait to see how long my egg will last and I believe that I have good chances since the recent rain and snow has softened the ground. I should be good to go unless I hit a rock and the fun could carry on for quite awhile.
In the meantime I bought myself a chocolate bar with the Osterhase on the front of it. The face looks like a copy of a dollar bill and reads “In bunnies we trust”. What can I say I’m easily amused. In addition I bought a chocolate egg with a toy surprise inside. It reminds much of the eggs my Mom would get for me when I was sick. It was always the simplest of things that could brighten my day and today with this egg, similar in shape and purpose, I feel close to home across the miles. My toy surprise was a little ferret figurine, which I interpreted as yet another sign. Nevertheless I smiled looking up the symbolic meaning of the ferret and took note of the message he was trying to bring me.
The last tradition that comes to mind are our Easter fires and huge bonfires are lit the night before Easter (tonight). In my town the fire is located on top of the hill which is the highest point of town and overlooks all the rooftops. It also allows these fires to be seen from across the land, from far away as they are meant to welcome the sun and spring. I have partaken in this event which turns into an all night outing and a friendly get together of all ages. It is mostly the younger crowd who organizes the event, lugging all the materials for the bonfire up the hill and who work tirelessly to ensure the “Fest” becomes a success.
My mind and my gaze will drift across the sky tonight to celebrate with my native country in an effort to feel close and join the celebration of spring as we welcome the sun and the true meaning of Easter.
Happy Easter xoxoxo