Tuesday, 10 April 2012
I remember Easter morning as a child.
The house was full of the smell of polish and fresh flowers, the table was laid with our best tablecloth and there were new prayer books wrapped in yellow paper, waiting on our breakfast plates. Little eggs nestled amongst tissue paper and silk flowers in our Easter basket and Gregorian chant drifted through the air, making us eat our cereal slowly and savour our first tastes of chocolate with a semi-religious fervour.
It was a simple thing really, that Easter breakfast table. And yet there was a magic in it too. Because it singled out the day as special and made it memorable for us all.
Late on Saturday night, as the clock ticked towards midnight, I laid our own Easter table.
I cleaned the room, laid the white cloth on the table, found a basket that I could wrap with ribbons, and brought in branches of blossom from the hedgerows to arrange in vases alongside long stems of frilly daffodils.
I cut out tissue paper flowers and hung delicate blown eggs off the window latches, and when it was done I stood back and smiled because I knew that I'd taken up the mantel of tradition and marked the morning out as special.
For the first time, I'd made a statement about what Easter morning would mean in our house. I'd stated that it would mean home-made hot cross buns and baskets of eggs, chocolate before breakfast and new prayer books wrapped in pretty, shiny paper.
It would mean Easter cards and clean floors and a walk down the lane to church. I would mean magic and celebration and smiles and specialness.
And even though there are other traditions waiting in the wings that will surely join us in the years to come, this simple tradition of laying the breakfast table with flowers has been brought back to life this Easter. And I can't help but feel grateful that it's now part of our family's story too.