Right around this time of year, I always observed black dots in our pasture. Newborns. dropped whenever time came. Nothing made daddy prouder than waking me way too early in the morning and squealing to "come" see our newest baby calf. He loved on the mama cow and made sure she was as comfy as possible. and he didn't take his eye off the baby until it was on all fours. He was a good daddy.
On Good Friday, we always planted our garden. This meant hours in the field, driving the mule, dropping the corn, and complaining a lot. However, I didn't complain months later as I slathered butter on my perfectly formed ears of sweet corn. I strangely forgot about the heat and the dirt. I still try to plant my few tomato plants on Good Friday, a long way from the ten acres I walked as a child. I thought everyone planted on this exceptional day. If you were southern, you did. Occasionally, I forget that everyone is not that lucky.
It was the sunrise service on Sunday morning that always tested my faith. Rising early on the weekend never made sense to me, but on this weekend, it did. In the middle of a golf course, on the tallest hill around, church members watched the sun squeak over the hill. I grumbled, but that defined my Easter. Then, daddy and me would rush home. Id put on my bonnet, my froufrou of a dress and my always too-tight shinny black shoes, and we'd head to church. As I grew older, I sang in the choir - sans froufrou - and it was always the most spectacular song for that morning. After the service, the three of us would then return home where Sunday dinner and laughter would season that day and all the ones that would follow.
My rote movements through the years, I'm afraid, have failed my parents and myself for that matter. I still survey pastures this time of year for the arrival of black dots, and I can't help but smile and remember daddy. I try to plant when the weather allows, but I have left behind the sunrise service and songs of resurrection. I can't say why, only that I know it's not as I had intended. I watch, I listen, I inhale the heralds of spring and I remember. I stand amazed at how years change us, how circumstances mold us, and how what we think will never vanish, always does. Although my stirrings are quite different than before, the hollows those early traditions carved in my heart remain. There's not a day that goes by that I don't recall from where I came and know that with a little effort and inspiration, I can be back on that tall hill beside daddy watching the sunrise.