I’m not a religious girl. I never have been. Religion has never been something that I value or devalue, although I find the religions of the world extremely fascinating. I’ve been to church maybe twice in my life, but I was so young that I don’t know what kind of church it was and I don’t even really remember being there.
But I do remember the day I decided that God is real. And since then, I haven’t questioned it, struggled with it, or even thought about it too much.
I was about seven years old. I was up at my grandparents ranch, the place where I learned about living and dying, being outside, how to swim, how to care for a horse, family, cows, rattle snakes, clothing lines, pomegranates, beds on porches, Dove soap, bringing home kittens, scorpions, herding dogs, strawberry patches, sewing machines, building fires, burning trash, watching The Sound of Music with my grandpa, sitting on the porch with my grandpa, hugging my grandpa and inhaling as deep as I could because I liked his smell, scrambled eggs, wild boars, humming birds, old books, sunburns, squeezing orange juice, getting dirty, smelling dirty, Pinny and how she’d kiss me on the cheek even when I was dirty, carrying the one year olds–Sam and Max and Cass–from the house down to the pool and how they’d slowly slip out of my arms down my hip and having to pull them back up every few steps, being shy, realizing I had a lisp, riding bareback with Molly behind me hugging my waist, losing teeth, and everything else.
That ranch shaped me as a person more than I probably even realize.
Seven year old me. It was Easter morning and it was bright outside. The Easter Bunny had left goodies in our baskets, and Cass was small enough to fit in her basket, so I put her in there and carried her around. We went on a hike down the dirt road and found eggs, the hard boiled kind, brightly colored and sparkling. I gave the best purple glittery egg to Cass because she kept reaching for it, and she immediately tried to bite into it, shell and glitter and all. Her mouth was purple and sparkley as she drooled on to Mom’s shoulder.
We got back to the house and found more eggs, hundreds of them, the plastic kind with candy inside, all over the yard. They were hidden among the trees, the bushes, the strawberry patch, the pool toys, the shed I didn’t like because I saw a rattlesnake in there one time, in the olive branches, the grape vines that hung over the front porch, in Amy’s dog bowl, in gopher holes.
I was at the age where I didn’t know if I believed in the Easter Bunny anymore. I didn’t think that a bunny came around and hid those eggs. But I did believe that those eggs got there in some magical way.
I found a handwritten note in one of the bushes. It was signed “The Easter Fairy” and it was the first note of many notes, that led me and my cousins and sisters on a day long scavenger hunt. What we were looking for, I don’t know, but I think we just wanted to search for anything. What we found was magic, everywhere. Everything we saw started to sparkle.
As I was falling asleep that night, I remember thinking, I don’t think the Easter bunny is real. But magic is real. There are things that I can’t see and can’t explain, and it’s more fun to believe that magic exists, so I’m gonna believe in it. Little did I know, that night I made the decision to believe in God.
And I haven’t doubted it since.
Happy Easter everyone. Hope you find some magic today.