Courtney S. Barr

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Monday, April 9, 2007

Easter & Spring - New every year, but old traditions...

Every year Easter sort of resignates with Spring in my mind.

Whether Easter comes early or late a palette of pastels, white mary jane sandals, or pants that scream of a linen cotton blend rush at you on Easter Sunday. Azaleas blanketing the road side, crimson clover in the fields, all new flowers & plants but they return like an old tradition every year.

My favorite old world tradition is hats. I love to see the hats come out in stores, you know, normally they are blended into the accessory department with little propaganda. But come the week of Easter & hats of pastels or navy, with faux flowers, mesh netting, and teases of traditions long ago. I have only worn a hat at Easter when I was a little girl. Even then, it was probably once. But when I when I see them, Easter is what I think of. Photos & movies depicting the southern ladies with their widebrim hats and hair perfectly coiffed in an intricate updo come to mind and I smile.

This year was no exception, I went into Steinmart with Marcus's niece to get her an Easter prize and their they were. Some were still just sitting in the accessory department, the berets & cowgirl hats. But in the boutique department with the spring hued clothing they had set up a stand beside a mirror with so many colorful and beautiful hats! I smiled, fingered a couple, and sighed. Now, I am not a slave to fashion, I have my own style and I portray it with pride, for a brief stint around 13 hats were my thing. I wore everything, course that was also when the show Blossom was on tv and Blossom (the main character) and her best friend Six wore them everywhere, so it was sort of the teen girl style. This year though is funny, not only have the hats appeared as tradition holds them to, but due to the temperature drop, shawls & wraps of beautiful pastels, bright bold colors & demure earth tones were on display right when you walked in near the hats. I smiled again. I LOVE a shawl or wrap. I immediately decided that a long white flowy skirt, a brown top and cute ballet slippers that I was wearing to church on Sunday would be perfectly accented with a deep tropical blue solid shawl! to my delight they had the perfect one. This accessory I could wear with ease and no discomfort or over-indulged self awareness as I might with a hat, since I wear shawls and wraps quite often.

Now you must understand Marcus & I have not been home on Easter Sunday in about 7 years. I mean home as Camden. 2 years ago we spent it with my best friend Tracy in our new home in Tuscaloosa, last year Marcus was on a hunting trip, and the years before we were traveling every time. We always manage to acknowledge the holiday, many times with church going activity, but there have been the lapses when we were traveling. So this year we decided to go to Mary Ann's church (next weekend we are going to be with my parents for the weekend). Her preacher is a very nice man, I am not a fire- &- brimstone- loud- hollering (even if on light biblical subjects)- preacher fan. This he is. Worship for me is more personal but with passion, less intimidating. I honestly just don't handle the screaming. I LOVE the music, praise worship is always beautiful be it an a capella song softly sang or an up tempo beat of guitar & piano & drums. But when it comes to sharing the gospel with me, preaching on God's word, I just don't do the intense hollering of the word. Maybe I should I don't know...

Easter Sunday's message is one of those old - new things too. No matter the churches I have visited. Their focus as it should be is the resurrection, the reason for the holiday. Each year you hear the same message, but because some people may have never been to church or read a Bible, or just never opened up their hearts the message becomes new. It creates a beginning. So much like Spring and its flora & fauna. We all know the plants bloom, we see some new flowers that we didn't know existed, but for the most part we just know its there and never really take time to take it in. I took time Sunday, I listened and I remembered the teachings from my youth, the beauty in the story. I am sure that the preacher when he looked at me thought I had no real emotion, for I am not one that stands up and raises her hands to the sky in praise while he speaks, nor prays aloud while he prays. But there are a flood of emotions when I hear the story and think about the message.

My faith is strong, and my beliefs stem from those old traditions of my parents sharing the message with me. Some people think you HAVE to go to church as a child or adult to get anything of the concepts but you don't. Now that I am older I understand the fellowship part of church, but as a child, your parents/guardians/adults around you can teach you in a way so different and so special. Mom has always imparted some sort of Easter message no matter what church we were attending, I always loved to get an Easter basket, no not just the candy, but the card with the message or the subtle gift of the gospel. A bracelet that says FAITH, or a book that has a good teaching of morality. those impressed upon my heart. That they would take the time to share those parts of themselves with me. Church was always good, you learn more of the details there, but the feelings, the emotions, came from mom & dad. This year, I was a little upset because since we are older & we were going to his family, there was no basket from mom & dad, no card, no book. It moved me in a different manner, I was ashamed to have slacked this year as well. Normally I give mom a plant & dad something nice, at least a card. But this year I did not make the time to do so. That is something new that I want to curb before it begins to be an old tradition. I should have at least given them something of the holiday, so that I could impart a bit of my faith back to those who have given me so much....I am going to fix that somehow.

Anyway, I hope you all had a great Easter & I will surely be typing again soon....

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