It happens this way …
In 1970 I was a Sister of Mercy and an English teacher at Camden Catholic High School in Cherry Hill, NJ. When Easter Sunday arrived on a cold, windy day, I roused a group of sisters out of bed (a few were not too happy with me!), and we joined a priest, students, and families under the goal post on the football field to celebrate a sunrise Mass. My best-laid plan for a grand finale was foiled by Mother Nature. Here’s what happened that day. And here’s to feeling “the glory pouring over the earth” today and every day.
Easter Sunrise Mass
And it was all ground-crunching glory
on the high school football field
where we huddled for the final play.
We knew the drill this frosted dawn.
No surprise. He’d break through grief
and fear and pounce on death again.
So to liven up the victory,
I hid balloons inside my car
and planned to set them free the moment
Easter alleluia-ed in. And it would be
all pinks, mint greens and baby blues splashing
Jersey skies with cheers to hang our memories on.
But nature sacked my pastel scheme.
Just as the sun broke through,
my impudent balloons refused to fly.
They rabbited the turf, hopping
over weeds and parking lots, racing
unforgiving winds down unrisen streets.
And it was all confusion and dismay
with colors dashing off and students,
parents, nuns and priests giddy with the scene
as if it were a practiced play and I, a brilliant mastermind.
I faked a hero’s bow for unwarranted applause
and heard myself pontificate, Nothing risen stays.
My words raced down the near sidelines
with the gravity of ups and downs,
the short-lived glee of crocuses,
the glory pouring over earth.
No surprise, I gathered in my dignity
and headed home to break my fast.
On either side of life, nothing risen lasts.
I’m so glad you’re doing this! Happy Easter to y’all \ .,. /
I remember this!
I thought you would! I can still see those balloons hopping across the field!
Sharon E Williams
Beautifully and vividly done! I could picture every moment of the event, as though I were there myself.
Thanks so much, Maryanne! I can still see those balloons hopping!
Sharyl D Mackay
Happy to see you here, Carolyn. Happy Easter!
Happy Easter to you and Robin across the river. Here’s to many more evening strolls!
Well, that’s ambitious!
Thanks, B! I can still those hopping balloons!
That is too, too funny! Have a beautiful Easter!
… and to you and Jeff and Amanda and Alex and, and, and ….
I think those balloons are still rabbiting somewhere:-)
Great imagery! Happy Easter!
So bummed to not be seeing you next week. 🙁
Me, too, Nan. But it was the right call. I see you folks have a curfew now.
I’ll let you know when we are heading your way again. If nothing else, if you are around we can hug — or elbow bump or bow!
Thanks, Carolyn. I loved the story! I imagine that the sisters that weren’t so happy about getting up so early had a good chuckle and made it worth joining your entourage.
They were happy once we were inside for breakfast!
Happy Easter, Marylee. I hope you and yours are safe and at peace duding these challenging times.
Wonderful. What a laugh thinking of those balloons hopping across the field. Happy Easter. Hugs.
Wonderful imagery Carolyn. Happy Easter.
Happy Easter to you, too, Lynne! And thank you for your wonderful card! I loved it.
Be safe and at peace!
Great story and as usual, told with much flair and perfection.
Happy Easter, dear one!
Thank you, Marie. I can only imagine how hard this Holy Week was for someone so
dedicated and connected to the liturgy. May you feel the resurrection in every
moment of the days ahead.