Monday, April 28, 2008

Christ is Risen!

So it’s Bright Monday, and that means I get to make a pious post about how wonderful Pascha was. It really was wonderful, but I was more tired than I have ever been at the services. Unfortunately my weariness was also visible on my face—as I was told by two or more concerned parishioners. But, in my defense, only 50% of it was my fault as I had used some of Rose’s cheap makeup. So after four hours of church and one hour of socializing I looked like a cross between a 1980s punk and Bette Davis on three hours sleep.

Yesterday it rained on our Pascha picnic, but it wasn’t bad at all. Before the rain fell we were able to grill the weenies and burgers and have an egg hunt for the children.

There’s something exciting about being outside when the air becomes still, the sky grows ominously dark, and the temperature drops ten or more degrees in a matter of minutes.

Rose begged to be allowed to go back to the car to get a sweater because she was “freezing” (a complete lack of body fat can do that to a person—so I hear). Within seconds of her leaving the shelter, the bottom dropped out and she returned with a fleece baby blanket, and not a dry stitch of clothing. I didn’t have to tell her so, but if she had only listened to me she wouldn’t have had to spend the rest of the day in wet clothes with only a damp, itchy baby blanket to warm her.

But I told her anyway--just for fun.

There was a convenient flood which made some nice, one or two-inch puddles under the picnic shelter. All the children needed was their parents to resign themselves to wet, sandy, chocolaty, sticky, and undeniably stinky children. The chocolate and jellybeans mingled with a good stomp in a puddle: it can be argued this is a foretaste of heaven! What a Pascha!

One of our Serbians brought a boomerang which one of our Americans accidentally threw onto the roof of the picnic shelter. This provided an amusing, 45-minute diversion for the men who conversed, climbed, and made geometric and physical calculations about what they needed to do to get it down. They decided to bang a soccer ball on the underside of the metal roof.

It worked.

So there is my not-so-pious summary of Pascha. It was beautiful, flowery, glorious, and all of the things superlative and yet not-so-superlative. The not-so-superlative doesn't matter simply because it's Pascha and everything tiresome or mediocre is made better because it's Pascha. All of the weariness ends in lamb, bratwurst, bacon and lots of cheesy, meaty, and chocolaty dishes. I have a sandy, sticky house full of dirty clothes and dishes. I’m sleepy and kind of cranky. But my children and I talk as if we have been through a battle and returned home alive. The children t
alk of Pascha as if it as good as or better than Christmas--even though it’s all church and no presents...or so they think.

Christ is Risen!