This is Bruce. He sits guard on the brick column by the pool. He scares evil spirits away from coming near our orange tree. He seems to be very effective except in the case of squirrels. I have seen those furry tailed rats standing on Bruce's head to get the advantage on a particular orange. I think it was my oldest son who named the gargoyle Bruce when he was young, my son, not Bruce. This gargoyle has been around a long time and has refused to state his actual age. He is the old friend, always looking out, always guarding my back.
Today Bruce is my secretary, my receptionist and my collaborator. I have moved the main office of Jaysons Imagination, Inc. out doors today. It's one of those perfect California days, Spring has sprung. From the few rain showers everything brown has turned green. Unfortunately my collaborator does not seem to be inspired at the moment and has assumed his "thinking" position. I totally understand because the perfumed air, the gentle breeze and song of the wind chimes makes it impossible to think clearly enough to write. At my desk the smell is of orange blossoms. If you walk around the neighborhood you find the orange blossom scent mixed with some sort of jazmine. It is a distinctively California Spring smell unlike any other place except perhaps Hawaii.
So Easter is this weekend. Funny that Easter always lands on a Sunday. Unfortunately no little kids to hide eggs for and no old people to attend a sunrise ceremony with this year. We will have a brunch for the extended California family but no Easter egg hunts.
I remember one Easter when the boys were 8 and 5 years old and their Asbury Grandparents were here to celebrate with them. My mother-in-Law, Grammy, found some plastic Easter eggs at the store and meticulously spend the night before Easter Sunday stuffing dozen's of them with candies and small change. She placed them carefully around the dwarf peach tree in the back yard..
The next day after Church the boys were very excited to start their egg hunting. We gave them their baskets and set them to the task. Grammy was particularly interested in their hunt and "steered" them to the peach tree.
Excitedly the boys ran to the tree and gathered the plastic eggs. My oldest son quickly opened the first egg, and to everyone's surprise it was empty. His little brother did the same thing and his plastic Easter Egg was empty as well. We watched as they progressively got more excited that the next egg would not be empty only to be disappointed by more empty eggs.
Grammy was totally baffled. We all watched her prepare the plastic eggs but we were not seeing the results. Grammy wondered if squirrels had eaten the candy. I was not sure that was the reason. First squirrels don't eat chocolate and I was certain they would not cover their theft by re-assembling the egg halves.
The boys were filled with such hope for the next egg they opened to be anything but empty. They seemed so very disappointed when there was, once again, nothing inside. It was a panic for grandparents and new parents who wanted Easter to be a perfect memory for the kids. Grammy replaced all the candy in every egg that was opened and empty. The grown ups were all baffled.
I am not sure exactly how we solved the mystery, perhaps it was the five year old who cracked. Turns out, that while the "grown ups" were getting ready for the big hunt, the boys covertly invaded the backyard. They took all the candy and coins out of the plastic eggs, reassembled them and placed them back in their spot. The whole disappointment and bewilderment at the missing candy, was only a completely realized scam. They were able to get double the candy treats with this ploy.
I realized then that the apples do not fall from the tree. I was secretly proud of the guys for coming up with that plan on their own. However it was a harbinger of things to come as they later approached puberty. Knowing what they were capable of as kids helped me stay only half a step behind them as they grew up.
Easter is a time to renew, recommit and remember that the future is beautifully unfolding after a long gloomy winter. I understand the symbolism that has been co-opted by the Christian Religion to renew faith and love. I have no trouble in seeing how both the secular and the religious come together in one celebration of renewal and rebirth at Easter. Enjoy every aspect of this season.
As you were,