This has been a strange Easter for me. Usually Easter follows a very specific and well-established tradition ... I go home, we have church Friday night and Sunday morning, big turkey dinner at my grandmother's house, blah blah family traditions blah. As a family we're all about traditions, and doing things the same way every year. Minor variations, sure, especially as we've grown and the family has been enlarged with inlaws and such, but the fundamentals are the same.
This year, not so much. My parents were out of the country until late last night, so I didn't go home. And Easter came so early this year, and with the snow still on the ground and with only the barest hint of spring in the air, I think it caught a lot of us still hibernating. It just didn't feel like Easter this weekend. At all. And that's a shame, because Easter is one of my favourite times of the year, I love the awakening that spring brings, and the message of Easter is a very powerful and hopeful one for me. I really feel like I missed it this year.
On the other hand, I did have some lovely moments this weekend, bookended by two fabulous meals. On Friday we had my sister and brother-in-law over for dinner, and Serdic cooked a DELICIOUS meal of tilapia, rice, and veggies. He really is a genius in the kitchen, and I knew half way through the meal when my sister turned to me and said "We're just going to have dinner here every night from now on" that I'm not the only one who thinks so. Today my parents returned from their trip and joined the four of us for a full on Easter dinner, cooked by yours truly (with lots of help, of course!). This was my first time taking on responsibility for a holiday dinner, and it turned out rather nicely, if I do say so myself. All the dishes were even finished at (approximately!) the same time! I did my famous glazed ham, mashed potatoes, spinach sauteed with sesame seeds, sugarsnap peas tossed in lemon butter, and steamed carrots. Serdic contributed his fantastic caramel flan with fresh fruit for dessert, and everyone all but licked their plates clean. It was great to see the folks again (they've been out of the country for two weeks, touring Scandinavia) and hear their stories and see the pictures. And have that quality family time I crave so much, and was really missing this weekend.
I also made it out Sunday morning for a sunrise service of hymns and choruses from the Messiah. Rolled out of bed at 5:15 which nearly killed me, but once we started singing and watched the sun come up over the river it was worth it. I didn't quite find the inspiration and fulfillment that Easter morning services usually bring me, but I did get to sing some glorious music and have some time with some very important friends in my life, so it was a good way to spend a few hours.
So now all I have to do is get ready to go back to work after four days off. Somehow I find I'm lacking the inspiration to do so. ;-)