Easter awakens precious memories

“Sitting under the oak tree, watching the neighborhood children enjoy the first nice, warm day makes me feel so happy to be here on this farm, surrounded by God’s beauty. There is no other place I would rather be than on this lovely land, away from the world.”

– Mary Cavish, 1948

By Judith Sutherland

Farm and Dairy columnist

The wonder of Easter has come and gone for another year, and it was a beautiful one.

One particular Easter that stands out in my mind brings that bittersweet feeling of love and loss and change, which makes up so much of life as we all grow older.

My children were just toddlers on this particular Easter. It was a beautiful April day, the sun beating down on the greening landscape.

My dad was still happy and healthy and vibrant, and his father was well enough for us to bring him from the assisted living home for the day.

My sister Debi was visiting with her two young sons, and we told the children to cover their eyes while she and I ran around the lawn hiding colored eggs. It was so fun to watch the two older boys helping my two little ones find those hidden eggs.

I remember sitting on the porch with Dad and Grandpa Young, chuckling at the little ones toddling about, working hard to balance their Easter baskets as they bent to claim their prized eggs.

“Do it again!” was the often-repeated phrase of the day, as we repeatedly hid those colored eggs. The massive old maple tree was the centerpiece of the lawn, and I remember Dad mentioning how early it was for the tree to be budding out.

Grandpa Young recalled one Easter from his younger days when the sun shone brightly; that particular Easter stood out in his mind because it had been his wedding day.

Memories like this one are precious to recall. We know that we never get that moment in time back again.

Changes

Within a year, my grandfather was gone, and my children have only vague memories of him. Even the huge old maple tree is gone, and that alone seems to have forever changed the landscape of what was once my home place.

Photographs of little girls in Easter’s finest from the 1960s leave much to the imagination since they are captured on black and white film. They show the four of us sisters dressed for church, probably in various shades of pastel colors, each of us smiling with happiness, thrilled with our Easter bonnets.

I remember the reverence of the day with affection for the little white church in the country. To this day, I think of many of the members of that small congregation as family.

If ever there was a time I would love to recapture, it is this. There was no illness, no pain, nothing but sweet innocence and joy and much to look forward to.

New generation

Time marches on, as it should, as it must. My nephews now have families of their own, and most certainly enjoyed hiding colorful eggs on my sister’s lawn for their little ones. This will be their memory to cherish.

Easter always brings a great feeling of renewal in so many ways. The trees are budding out here on our farm, and we have been given the gift of greening fields and lawn.

The bluebirds have returned, the squirrels are out playing, Channing is happy to chase groundhogs once again. A new chapter begins.

About the Author

Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, in college. More Stories by Judith Sutherland

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