A fragmented post about Easter. Kind of a jigsaw puzzle way of writng–some of these words are new, some are old, but all of them feel true this morning. Happy Easter to all of you!
I don’t know if it was because I could stay up as late as I pleased and swim without having to wear a bathing suit, but the ranch was my favorite place. Things were different out there. I was ten years old and allowed to drive Heath’s F250 so long as he was riding shotgun. I woke up early, I always did there, and I was just tall enough to climb into the truck. I didn’t need Heath’s help. I could ride the horses as deep into the hills as I wanted but I never went too far. I remember how much work it took to get Mouse up to a full gallop, how her canter made me get a side stitch. But one time, she was galloping and we took a sharp turn, and she saw it before I did–a cow’s carcass that had been there for God knows how long. Mouse skidded on her hooves, legs kicking every which way as she tried to slow us down. I imagine we looked like something out of a cartoon. The cow scared her, and it scared me too. We were still for a moment, both of our chests heaving with breath as we examined the decaying cow. It was turned on its side, its skeleton still intact and acting as a framework. The ribs curved around like a barrel, strips of wind-tattered hide hung off the clean bones like prayer flags. Just as my eyes started scanning up toward the skull, I didn’t want to look at it but we always do anyway, Mouse took off running back toward the house. I’d never felt her so afraid. She slowed her pace as we got further from the carcass, but she felt like a different horse. I felt like a different girl. So that’s what happen when something dies, I thought.
I was the oldest of the younger cousins. I remember carrying the one year olds–Sam and Max and Cass–from the house down to the swimming pool and how they’d slowly slip out of my arms; I’d use my knee to bop them back up every few steps, their little hands clasped tight on the ends of my blonde hair. I lugged those kids around on my hip months after they learned to walk, I just liked feeling as though I was taking care of something.
It was Easter morning and it was bright outside. The Easter Bunny had left goodies for us, 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 egg to Cass because she kept reaching for it, it was purple with glitter. She immediately bit into it, shell and glitter and all. Her mouth was purple and sparkley as she drooled on to Mom’s shoulder.
Molly and I were a team. All the eggs we found, we shared. If I found a good one, one with Reeces or quarters, I couldn’t wait to go show her. She wasn’t as shy around the older cousins as I was. I remember how one time she got stung by a scorpion and only cried a little. I, on the other hand, cried a lot. I wasn’t even the one that got stung.
Sam and Amy and Jessie were the dogs. They were all the kind of dogs that would let me lay my head on their bellies and hold on to their ears. They all got put down around the same time.
There was a pomegranate tree, and I wondered why the tree wouldn’t give fruit the whole year long. There were strawberries too, but only sometimes. The grasses were green and thick in the spring, everything seemed brighter. Summers out there made me feel wild, in the fall I got quiet, and in winter the air turned still and cold, perfumed with smoke from the fireplace.
I never wanted to take a shower after coming home from the ranch. It seemed like it was gonna wash the magic off.
I’m not a religious girl. But there is something about this day, Easter Sunday, that always feels special to me. It reminds me that we work in cycles, and that it is within those cycles that the magic resides. May you, too, be reminded of that magic today. Happy Easter! ❤