Easter Egg

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On a festive day when I was three I found a lavender egg beneath a tree. It was Easter and the air was full of morning and the sun was shining, little children were running about, and then all of a sudden something happened, something that’s actually the first memory of my life.

easter egg treeI saw (and in that moment everything became quiet, at least in my memory it was quiet) I saw a glint of lavender in the leaves beneath a tree — a lavender egg half-covered by brown leaves nestled in the bosom roots of a tree that went way up into the sky.

It was so quiet, though the children were squealing in the front yard, and in the silence my small hand reached out, and I knew, I felt, something magical was happening, something intensely beautiful was being born from the dark beneath the leaves out of where the tree grew and the darkness down there began.

I took the egg into my fingers and touched its perfect seamless shape. Egg. Lavender egg. I held it to my cheek. It was as smooth as my cheek, its touch so tender and smooth, so secret and whole. I placed the egg into my basket, on the green grass inside my basket and it remains there now in my memory, lavender on a green nest, and the memory of my little selfless self contemplating it remains there too, and the quiet beneath the soaring tree remains, still there in my memory with the lavender egg.

Now seventy years have passed from that moment to this and it is Easter again and I know more, I know that Jesus made Easter by dying on a tree like the countless trillions of leaves that die and sail down between the trees and crumble into dirt and into the dark of the ground, and that the wetness of rain draws them down to the roots where they wait like Jesus until Easter comes and a little boy no bigger than that sees a glint of lavender appearing from the dark, from the fecund dark, from Jesus’ cave, resurrecting into the little boy’s hand, touching smooth against his cheek like a kiss from his mother.