Archive for April, 2011
I am sure it wasn’t so, but for some reason I remember all the Easter Sundays of my childhood as sparkling and bright. The long grasses we had picked together with our dad the day before, had been turned before bedtime into fluffy nests, and we found them the following morning to have been visited by the Easter bunny who brought sweets and treats all the way from America. I remember holding hands with my sisters, skipping on the cobblestone sidewalk in front of the house, waiting for our parents to lock up so we could go to church. In my memory, all our Easter dresses were variations of pink or purple, all our Easter eggs were red, and all the hymns sung that early morning in the coolness of the church, sent shivers down my spine.
My family loved keeping to tradition the Friday before Easter, slaughtering the baby lambs we played with and loved, allowing them to silently bleed to death, then turning them into stews and roasts. To this day, none of my siblings like the taste of lamb meat. They had spent too much time chasing a little lamb friend across the yard. We remembered too clearly the horror of their silence as the blood trickled down into the damp spring earth. Children do not recognize the importance of a symbolic ritual, no matter how often they may hear the story repeated.
The family gatherings after church were the best part of Easter Sunday. Uncles and aunts and cousins and close friends, everyone dear, together. The cracking of the colored eggs, the stories told of far away places and long ago days, the silences of stories not dared voiced, the laughter, the desserts. And somehow the sun was always shining and the food was plenty, and the later it got, the greater was the sadness that the day would have to end and Monday would come, and we would miss the togetherness and the memories we had made.
Photo courtesy of hubpages.com
My love affair with purses started the summer before first grade. Upon one of our Sunday afternoon outings in the city center, I was struck by one of the most beautiful sights my young eyes had seen thus far: a red patent leather purse on the shoulder of a little girl my age. Round in shape (this was the seventies) and with an outside pocket containing a little doll, I just had to have one exactly like it. For the following weeks, I was an obsessed child imploring my parents nicely, and sometimes not so nicely, about my need to get one.
Eventually my wish came true, and with my red patent leather purse I also received a pair of red patent leather Mary Janes. Imagine my joy! I wanted to wear the shoes and the purse everywhere. I suppose that was the origination of my showing off, although it’s hard to tell as I’ve been a show off as long as I remember. Yet my mom wouldn’t allow it. They were only for church and visits to friends and family, where they could be properly appreciated. And because we lived in a communist country and things were difficult to come by, her reasoning made sense.
Over the years I’ve accumulated a variety of purses that have been objects of intense love at one time or another, but which have lately been gathering dust on the shelves. Yet, I can’t bear to part with them. The memories they hold are many and precious. Girlhood, womanhood, motherhood. Specific moments and specific contents within, are ingrained in my mind.
I suppose there’s plenty of psychological explanations for my love and need of a beautiful purse, yet who cares about all that? I’m too busy enjoying and loving.