I didn't dye any eggs this Easter, but I did learn a lesson from my paint palette.
Of all the mornings to "get up on the wrong side of the bed," I awoke grumpy on Easter morning. And the fact that I was grumpy irked me even more! Sometimes my heart's ugly, ungrateful evil twin shows up at the most inappropriate moments, her maniacal laughter threatening to drown out my good-heart's quiet song. This was a morning for celebration, and this year I observed Lent, preparing my heart for Easter more than ever before. So why the bad attitude?
I think that having a good attitude, and more than that, finding pure joy in life is sometimes is a fight. Joy is a choice, and you have to work, sometimes work hard, to stand firm in that choice. Good Friday had looked like a normal, mundane day in my house. But when I chose to be grateful for the beauty in the seemingly inconsequential, something happened in my spirit that turned that day into something special. Easter Sunday, the glorious morning I had been expecting to launch something new and exciting in my heart, dawned while we were still sleeping. In fact we overslept, lost the time to savor the morning, rushed around baking and chopping and packing for a day at the lake. It turned into a good day, of course, but it was still an off-day. There was nothing on the agenda, but instead of finding rest I felt boredom. The sky was clear and a gorgeous spring-blue, but instead of soaking in the warmth I frowned all day in the face of a sun that was glaring and overly-bright.
But the magic did come. It wasn't until the next day, on Germany's Easter Monday. . . an extra day of grace, a reminder that every day is a good day to live Easter. The girls were worn out from two days on the water and in the sun, so they slept on and off for nearly the whole day. Hubby and I relished the rest and put off the housework. After 40 days of not touching a paintbrush, I made a ceremony of weighing in my hands each new little tube of watercolor paint, deciding which colors to try out first. But I had neglected to clean my palette! I couldn't mix my new paint with my old paint. Kicking myself for not washing the palette on any one of the 40 days of my painting-fast, I went to work scrubbing away the dried up mess (probably 2-3 years' worth) and praying the girls wouldn't awake before I could steal a few precious moments to swirl color and water across a clean page.
my "clean" palette
And so I almost missed my second chance to choose joy. But my practiced eye noticed how at the touch of water the dried and lifeless colors began to bleed and flow into each other, how these old paints determined to capture a last moment of beauty even as I washed them down the drain. And my eye roused my heart to remember my past and to cherish the "becoming" of who I am today, for who I am today is only the "becoming" of who I will be tomorrow--as long as I continue making that choice to find joy even on my bad days. While the old has gone, a remnant stain remains on my palette to usher in the new--sort of a death-and-resurrection reminder to live Easter every single day.