As befits a Lenten challenge, it was not going to be easy. Coming to the end of the forty days, I found myself in a situation totally unenvisaged: I was travelling and unable to easily write or post my thoughts. A simple enough problem, really, but one that had the potential to derail a process. So, with a few hours available while in transit on the return leg of my travels, let me try to close this ‘chapter’, briefly, with another story.
An Easter egg hunt was arranged for the children, and adults were not supposed to help. Of course, many parents ‘could not help themselves’ and anxiously and eagerly burrowed around for eggs. The location was a lovely mountainside restaurant above Kingston. The day was blissfully sunny but not too hot. A morning sitting and cheering at a swimming meet was now on pause, after a testing drive up the mountain. We’d eaten brunch and now wanted to kick back for a few hours. We had the swimming night session to look forward to.
The area in which the children had to search was limited to a lawn, but the task was too much for some, and tears flowed as children, disappointed by their limited success, felt that the ‘big prize’, the golden egg would not be theirs. Eventually, one child found the ‘treasure’ and her pleasure was clear. Others, who’d found some eggs, but not the special one, now dealt with the result. Some happily chomped on the candy inside their prizes; others needed more to be content. Parents hugged and stroked and tried to make things better. For some it worked, for others it did not. Great idea comes to a point where it seems less than great?
Another hunt had been arranged for adults; children were encouraged to help their parents, perhaps suggesting the need that they would need reminding of how to ‘play’. The area to search was much larger and involved climbing stairs and winding paths. My little daughter and I hunted for clues, then solved them as best we could and went to the next point. That was not easy, and we bumped into other groups hunting like us. When we found clues, we read them and put them back. We were not being overly competitive and denying others the chance to find their way to the ultimate prize. My daughter and I ran and sweated, coming through bushes and in pots of plants and flowers. We looked under rocks and under a swimming pool. We peered into trees. We searched in and around a statue, as we sought the answer to the final clue. “Found it!” But it was not one of our voices. The lady looking behind us helped up her golden egg. Should I try to wrest it from her? No. Should I cry? No. Did I feel disappointed? A little, but because of what? The ‘prize’ was not the golden egg–not of real gold, but just colored–but a dinner for two at a lovely location. A wonderful treat. We joked with the family who had found the egg and teased about sharing the egg. They looked forward to giving the gift to some visitors coming to see them soon. We wished them well, and walked off to meet the rest of our family group. They were resting and taking in the mountain air.
We rolled into the car, and the car rolled us back down the mountain into the city. About 40 minutes later, we were on flat ground, back in the area near the Aquatic Centre. It was eerily quiet, but it was Easter Sunday: hardly any cars were on the road. We refreshed ourselves at a hotel, where we’d stayed previously. Our thoughts were on how well one of the family would do in the night’s finals. My daughter and I chuckled as we went back over some of the silly things that had fooled us as we hunted for eggs. Then we saw a bowl of chocolate eggs, on offer, for whomever wanted to take one. We each took one, and bit heartily into our treat. All of a sudden we had found a happy Easter in an egg for which we’d not had to hunt.