Growing up, Easter meant chocolate eggs. LOTS of chocolate eggs. Like, everywhere! The supermarkets didn’t just have a dedicated aisle for it, they had literal tunnels, bursting with chocolate eggs everywhere you looked.
So that’s what Easter meant to me for a good long time: a bonus long weekend where we got to eat chocolate to our heart’s content and have lunch with my grandparents. My mum would sometimes make the effort of making little paw prints around the house, but she wasn’t fooling anyone and the trouble of cleaning it up afterwards made her give up on that idea pretty quickly.
Then I moved to Australia and everything changed.
Yes the supermarkets had chocolate eggs, but what type of boring package was that?! Just a bit of foil around it? No laces, extra fluffy bits, bits of foil on top or a seal of approval from the Easter bunny himself? Not to mention that most eggs were hollow and did not have a thousand mini chocolates inside. Hot cross buns were a mystery to me, I had no connection with them and was mostly disappointed to learn that the white icing tasted like cardboard.
My grandparents weren’t around anymore, so no family lunch on Sunday either. Easter lost some of its magic for me.
For some time then, it became just a long weekend where everyone became obsessed with travelling, road rage was through the roof and all the good camping spots were taken. Better stay home and let it all pass. This was my view of the holiday until three years ago.
Then things changed again!
A friend of mine from Germany shared that Easter for her family was linked to a chance to start anew, just like Spring cleaning, but for the self rather than the garage. Hemispheric differences apart, ignoring the fact we are in Autumn and preparing to hibernate, I loved this idea of cleansing and a new beginning. To be honest, what
liked was the ritual itself: wake up before dawn, walk in silence to a water spring. Once you wash your face and drink some of that water, you break the silence and speak with your companions while watching a sunrise. How cool is that? I loved it and immediately volunteered to be included in her family tradition.
The first time, we were still living in Tassie, and we were lucky enough to have the amazing Mount Wellington so close to home, providing icy cold, refreshingly clean water for our little ritual. The sun came out when we were at the top of the mountain, and the golden rays made everything look magical and full of hope. The fact we had to drive and walk in silence made the experience more reflective and the breaking of silence so satisfying! Just look at this view:
Easter for me continues to be a time when I prefer not to travel, and I haven’t really bonded with any of the typical foods, but now it is also a time for reflexion, an opportunity to re-evaluate and set new directions, and most importantly of all, a reminder that getting out of bed early has its benefits.
Living in Canberra I’m yet to find a suitable water spring to continue the tradition which I have adopted as my own. I’m probably going to carry a water bottle with me up Mount Ainslie and watch the sun rise.
I hope that however you chose to spend your Easter, it is a good one.