Classic Re-post from 2003
Have you ever wondered why Easter sometimes falls late in March and other times past the middle of April? Scientist and Mathematician types get sweaty palms over questions like this. They have complicated algorithms for calculating the date, but I did a little research on my own and I think I have a handle on it now
Let me put the cookies right down on the bottom shelf where you can reach them. Simply put, Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon that follows the first day of spring. An easier way is just to look on the calendar of course.
Early or late, after Easter we are really ready for spring. We’re itching to fiddle around in the yard and break out the baseball glove. But it seems like it has been six months since Puxatony Phil saw his shadow and scurried back in his hole, and winter just hangs on. I just checked the Internet and the weather this week is going to be no more like spring than last week’s was. It’s unlikely there is going to be a run on the Hawaiian Tropic lotion out at WalMart this week. Here in Michigan we are happy if we can just get through spring break without having to shovel snow.
It’s not that we aren’t valiantly acting the part. We are doing our best to think spring and going through the spring motions and sincerely as we can. I chuckle to see the ladies dart though the parking lot into church on Easter Sunday morning with their new white shoes and their light pastel dresses, fresh as a spring breeze, stomping off snow in the foyer. They blow on their hands to get warm wiggle out of their winter coat trying not to ruin their corsage. The front of the church is lined with lilies and when I see them I imagine getting on a plane to fly to where they grew those flowers as soon as church is over. (With my luck that would probably end up being a greenhouse in a balmy spot like Gary, Indiana).
It doesn’t really matter when Easter comes here in Michigan. In March or even in April it’s still going to be on a day that seems a lot like winter. It’s still going to be a while until we can go out and read on the porch without risking frostbite and hypothermia.
Every year my longing for spring is stronger. It’s a little scary. I find myself understanding why some people are so eager to get on the road for Florida as soon as the leaves fall from the Maples in October. I will always believe our Michigan winters are beautiful and enjoy venturing out on skis and skates, but the older I get the more I like the idea of a deep chair by a big fire in a cozy lodge with a good book and a strong coffee. That is my idea of a near-ideal evening.
I must admit there are a few welcome hints that spring will eventually come. In the mornings the birds are warming up their voices. A week ago my heart was warmed to see that brave crocuses pushed their way up to meet the sun. That is a promise of daffodils and tulips to come. The Magnolia in front will wear her flowery dress soon and the Dogwoods will pin white blossoms on their lapels. Wild violets will bloom like a purple carpet in the woods, the evening breeze will carry a hint of lilac, and spring will be back. It always does. It always will. We have a biblical promise on that in the book of Genesis chapter nine that as long as the earth remains the seasons will come and go. Just when it seems like the winter of despair is here to stay hope springs eternal.
Meanwhile I am going out to check the mail. If I am not back in an hour send the Saint Bernard for me. Just make sure that little cask hanging from his neck is filled with strong black coffee. My mom would be real disappointed in me if word got to her I was sipping Brandy, even if my life did depend on it.