...o let me ne'er forget..."
All the Easter Sundays of my childhood were happy ones, filled with baskets of candy and dyed eggs, fluffy, brightly-colored baby chicks, patent-leather Mary Janes, frilly dresses made of pastel organdy or dotted swiss, hats with bows that tied under my chin, and, of course, Sunday School and church packed with other bright and shiny people. Of all those Easters, there’s one I remember best.
In the spring of 1947, when I was four, we lived in a tiny duplex in Springfield, Missouri. In the backyard was what I understand now must have been a chicken coop at one time, but I thought of it as my playhouse. It was about the size of an average bathroom. The top and all four sides were made of wire, and the entire structure was overgrown with leafy green vines.
I remember in particular the contentment I felt as I sat alone inside that green enclosure, leaning against one wire wall, my legs stretched out in front of me with my Easter basket in between them. Birds were singing, and sunbeams pierced through the leaves, brightening the cool, shady spot I’d chosen to enjoy what were two of my favorite things even that long ago: chocolate and solitude.
"This is my Father's world,
the birds their carols raise,
the morning light, the lily white,
declare their maker's praise."