While preparing Easter Sunday dinner, my thoughts drifted back to an Easter some years ago that definitely has been unforgettable.
We always hosted Easter Sunday dinner because of calving season. This particular year, Easter also fell on my birthday.
One of my husband’s brothers and his wife and family had come to visit his parents. So, of course, they were on the guest list for dinner, as was my husband’s parents and one of his uncles. We had also invited our parish priest to have dinner with us.
A given thing during calving season was the small pen I’d fashioned in our entry. Our entry was in the shape of an “L.” The short leg of the L contained a doorway into our pantry/sewing room and one that led to the basement. So the small stand I used as a catch all pulled over made an ideal pen for a sick calf.
When our nieces and nephew arrived they immediately saw the calf in the little pen and naturally had to go pet and talk to it.
Everyone had arrived for dinner except for our parish priest. My sister-in-law and mother-in-law began helping me set the table. There were 18 of us that day. We had finished placing the plates, cups and silverware and started getting the food into serving dishes. About halfway through, I heard a car pull into the driveway. Looking out the dining room window, I saw the priest getting out of his car.
I’d forgotten to tell him we had a sick calf in the entry. He came in the door and turned his back to the small stand to remove his coat. Just at that very moment he was backed up against the stand, the calf chose to stand up, sniff at him, and let out a bellow.
The poor priest jumped, whipped around, and asked, “What was that!?” We were all in stitches at his reaction.
I told him, “Sorry, Father. I forgot to tell you that we have a calf in the entry we are treating.”
“Well,” he answered, “it must be feeling better because it sure knows how to surprise a person.”
Still amid gales of laughter we all sat down to eat.
During the course of conversation, Father commented how appropriate we had brought the calf into the house to take care of it at this particular time of year - a time of new life. So as we were celebrating Easter among family and friends and an abundance of food - some of which we’d raised ourselves - we were also celebrating life itself.
The last while there’s been a different smell to the air - a smell of new life beginning. The grass in my yard is turning green, I can see buds on the trees and lilac bushes, and I’ve noticed robins and other birds flying from tree to ground and back again with nesting materials in their beaks.
And the sights of new life also brings new hope - hope for those who are ill, who are suffering in any way and for peace in our homes, our communities, our world.
May your week be filled with blessings.