Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gifts. Chickens. Eggs. Easter

Roses that I have discovered in the yard which have never bloomed before, a white wisteria seed that Lis brought me, a tiny creamer bottle for fairy flowers and a book, both sent by Bethany.

All gifts.

And I planted the seeds for bottle gourds and heirloom cucumbers Bethany sent me as well as the zinnia and sunflower seeds. And I settled the wisteria seed into that pot and watered it well. I love gifts that say, "I know you. Here, grow this."
I love gifts that spring out of nowhere, red roses so deep in color that blood running from a vein couldn't touch it.

But my hens. Oh, they are not gifting me. Where are they laying their eggs? Darn those hens. Scared of snakes in the hen house and not one egg in the fern in the last two days. I don't have time to watch them all day long as they go from one part of the yard to another, doing whatever it is that hens do.
They are withholding their eggs from me and it's almost Easter.
It's not like they sit on those eggs and are protecting their soon-to-be-chicks.
No, they lay and then they leave.
Not one damn good mother in the bunch.

Perhaps they are just providing me with an Easter Egg hunt.
And perhaps Easter Egg hunts are nothing more than a very, very old dance between humans and chickens to find the eggs the chickens lay so profusely in woods and leaves and old sheds and ferns and wherever it is that chickens lay.

And what any of this has to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ is beyond me.
Or chocolate for that matter.
Or some sort of pink protein served at Easter dinner (ham, salmon, rare lamb) or...Peeps!
Or bunny rabbits! What do bunny rabbits have to do with the resurrection of our Lord and Savior?

Probably no more than trees have to do with the birth of Baby Jesus.
Or Lay-Away at Walmart.

Sometimes I feel so sorry for Jesus that it makes me want to steal him out of the manger

and send him to public school and tuck him into bed every night and tell him that it's not his job to save the world.
Just be a boy, I'd tell him.
Just be a sweet man, I'd say.
Just be a really, really smart man and know how much your mama loves you.

And maybe he'd look at me with eyes like, really? and I'd look back at him with eyes like REALLY and he'd stick his thumb in his mouth and turn over and I'd reach under his shirt and lightly scratch his back and hum a little song to him and I wouldn't leave his bedside until he fell asleep and then I'd kiss his little Jesus curls and on Easter, I'd fix him up a basket with jelly beans and chocolate bunnies and chickens that you could wind up and set down and watch hop, hop, hop across the floor and leave it by his bed so that he'd wake up in the morning and find it and he wouldn't have any fear of being crucified at all.
And then we'd go hunt eggs that our hens had left us. Somewhere. It might take all day, but we'd find them.

Oh. And no one would have to wear a crucifix around their neck and churches wouldn't have to have that horrible statue of Jesus with his bleeding hands and feet, his ribs all poking out, his head tilted to the side, his eternity-seeing eyes staring off into space and little children wouldn't have to see that, none of them.
Especially not Jesus himself.

And maybe on Easter Morning there would be a new litter of baby rabbits to cuddle and stroke, maybe there would be a nest full of just-hatched peeps to wonder at.
I know boys.
And if there was a Jesus he was a boy once. And I think he would have liked that.

Well. I've just picked basil and my hands smell of it, stink of it, and I'm going to go peel and mush garlic and they'll stink even more.

I have a good imagination, I'm a good cook, and I've had a weekend full of gifts.

Ain't nothing wrong with that.

Not one damn thing.


  1. I think part of my melancholy the last few days is that I've completely dropped the ball on tradition where Easter is concerned -- namely going to church, celebrating Palm Sunday, etc. etc. While it feels perfectly right in my heart that has let go of Catholicism, there must still be shreds of guilt and I somehow feel I'm doing my boys a disservice by not carrying on that tradition. To tell you the truth, I don't have much energy, either, to create new ones.

    By the way, that book is EXCELLENT, if it's the one by Abigail Thomas, who happens to be one of my most favorite memoir writers.

  2. Them's fightin' words, lady. You know some of your favorite followers got the religion gene and are sho' nuff believers. :)

    Ms. Moon, you do keep it realer than real. Which I sure do love about you. For real. And yes, despite them fightin' words I am still following. (And praying for you.) Hee hee.

    Happy egg hunting!

  3. Actually, I just learned the link between Jesus and eggs. But its a long story :)

    I bought store eggs today (other than the farmers market) for the first time in I don't know when -and it actually made me sad!

    And yeah...word verification? Milif. Go on with your bad self ;)

  4. Elizabeth- Take your boys to the beach and let them see the water for Easter. Tell them that it is the meaning of life. Easter. Done.
    And yes, that's the book.

    Gradydoctor- As long as your prayers are "more of this" I'm happy. Sugar, I never turn down prayers. Especially from people I know are filled with grace.

    SJ- Those damn hormones are working! Love you, baby.

  5. I can't stop looking at that photo of Elvis. The red and the green in the photo...incredible!

  6. A true egg hunt, that probably is exactly where the idea came from.
    I love your imaginings of tucking in baby Jesus, mothering, protecting him from the crucifiction.
    Wow, you planted all that stuff already, impressed. I hope the bottle gourds take, they are from last year.
    The Elvis pic is one of the coolest shots EVER! Made me smile so wide.

  7. Michele R- I saw Elvis up there in those roses and I knew that was one hell of a photo-op.

    Bethany- I made sixteen little hills by the fence, but not too close so that the chickens can get to them and I planted those gourds and cukes. And then I made a circle in the middle of the garden and hoed it up and raked it over and scattered the flower seeds and stomped them down and watered the hell out of all of it.
    We shall see.

  8. Dearest Mary, the book looks great.

    I have no idea what your chickens are up to but the new banner picture is fabulous!! Love you xx

  9. My son said, "I like Baby Jesus more than ouchy Jesus."

    I totally get that.

  10. Oh dear. I love your Jesus fantasy. Have you read Philip Pullman's Jesus book?

  11. Christina- Elvis was just up there posing in the roses because he knows how handsome he is and that they made a good back-drop for his handsomeness. Maybe!

    Nancy C- Wise boy.

    Jo- No but I'm going to the library today.

  12. elvis is the cock of the walk!!!
    and i love your mama's heart loving baby jesus to the moon and back!


  13. You would make a fine Jesus mom. No doubt.

    I love you, Mary Moon!

  14. You're a good cook and this is a recipe for how to raise a man and it's beautiful and it made me cry.

  15. As much as I love the traditions of Easter Sunday, I realize that it is the love and family time together that I love, and not the religious implications.

  16. rebecca- I'm so sacrilegious. Thinking I could do a better job with Jesus Baby than his mother! Ha!

    Ms. Bastard-Beloved- I'd do my best to keep him away from gangs. I'd keep him busy and productive, turning my water into vodka! Love you, dear.

    Madame King- Oh honey. Don't cry. I love you.

    Angie M- I agree. Plus- chocolate! And eggs!

  17. I really liked those egg hunts. They were fun. I don't like the bleeding Jesus either. He looks very hurt, very much in pain.

  18. I will just add that when my hands smell like garlic and basil..
    I'm in heaven on earth.


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