“Easter is… Joining in a birdsong, Eying an early sunrise, Smelling yellow daffodils, Unbolting windows and doors, Skipping through meadows, Cuddling newborns, Hoping, believing, Reviving spent life, Inhaling fresh air, Sprinkling seeds along furrows, Tracking in the mud. Easter is the soul’s first taste of spring.” – Richelle E. Goodrich, Making wishes

“If anyone or anything tries to curse or kill the Goodness at the Center of all things, it will just keep coming back to life. Forever Easter.” – David Housholder, The Blackberry Bush

“Easter blessings, all life’s sacrifices like autumn leaves awaken our senses and power to love and be whole. Our Mother Earth, our Father Sky embraces our happiness and laughter. Praise be to freedom and life’s seasons. Praise be to Christ’s freedom song.” – Ramon Ravenswood, Twilight Zone Encounters

The Houghton Mifflin Canadian Dictionary of the English Language defines a blessing as “The act of one who blesses. An expression or utterance of good wishes. A special favour granted by God. Anything promoting or contributing to happiness, well-being, or prosperity.” This year Easter Sunday falls on April Fool’s Day, which is celebrated every year on April 1 by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes. The jokes and their victims are called April fools. As it happens, my beloved grandmother, Amelia, celebrated her birthday on April 1. I suspect, though, that Grandma never really understood the meaning of April Fool’s Day until that fateful year, as many of you read in Choosing: 1940–1989, several of her offspring played a devastating ‘joke’ on her.

The last inscription of my dedication of Arriving: 1909–1919 reads, “In memory of my grandparents, Rudolph and Mary Gares, for their life-long gifts of love and inspiration.” During all of our family gatherings, I sat with my grandmother, encouraging her to recollect her childhood, her life, everything she could remember until, because of my eidetic memory, she may well have been the real storyteller of my trilogy. Still, I think that my grandparents’ most enduring blessing to me was their profound faith, so that the poignant quotations at the beginning of this newsletter truly reflect my beliefs about Easter.
Whether you celebrate Easter by attending church, hosting festive family dinners, decorating eggs, giving gifts, or doing all or none of these, may you experience peace, love, and joy.I’m looking forward to seeing you on Saturday, April 28, at the launch of Lords and Lepers!


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