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HONORING MY MOTHER | Easter in extraordinary time




HEMINGWAY described that magical first moment of dawn breaking through darkness, as being “true at first light”. Not meaning to be a copycat, allow me to snatch that phrase, in describing how I once perceived waking up on Easter morning while growing up.

As such, let me poke you further with alliteration while trying not to choke on how to fit that feeling between fingers. This is after all, nothing but extraordinary Easter expectations.

Us baby boomers may just be all too familiar with how Holy Week had generally been celebrated in our time.

While definitely certain that it is still probably true somewhere nowadays, holy week particularly on Good Friday, used to be the time when everything stood still.

I even remember that it used to be the only occasion when all means of travel were grounded until the next day. The airwaves were silent (or silenced), except in one or two radio stations where repetitive recordings of the seven last words and other religious music programs droned on till sign off.

On the TV, everyone was treated to a nonstop dose of that worn-out film, The Ten Commandments starring that Heston redneck and then other few biblical themed films. It was always a freebie when we had cartoons slipping through.

All these went on from Holy Thursday through Black Sabbath, er Saturday. However, Good Friday still proved to be the pinnacle of sacrifice for us Ponciano Street kids. No playtime whatsoever or any boisterous behavior, definitely no baths, and worst in some instances, our required participation in prayer sessions with elders and visiting ‘readers’ from the neighborhood.

In terms of superstitious beliefs, there was one that said, once you get wounded on Good Friday, it’ll take longer to heal. Also at night, all kids were asked to pray, as God is dead, evil roams the land. Shades of GOT! These had gone on as if in a loop for years; during that old forgotten time which fell between Holy Thursday and the fateful dawn of Easter Sunday morn.

Gradually, the culminating week of Lent began shedding off its strict facade. It could either be attributed to a simple case of changing times or the younger sets just discovering other things.

Thus, Holy Week thru the years became a time which families or group mates used for vacation and short trips usually outdoors as a respite from work. The celebration since then has become one that’s been left for devotees and some faithful to continue.

Despite all the changes, Easter Sundays always remain glorious; religiously for some perhaps, but nonetheless symbolical for this old dog. For one, I’m just too glad that even with the internet and all its distractions, the age-old observance has lingered on regardless of dwindling gate attendance.

Of course, while thankful that its days of strict implementation had come and gone, its very observance and it’s being able to adjust to new settings, is admirable.

Now, while gate receipts appear to be on the rise because of this pervading covid climate, it seems unfair to use this as an excuse for the uptrend. Easter in all essence brings out the natural desire for salvation or being at one with a deific entity and maker at that. Whether we like it or else, it is deep in us all, atheists included. True at first light indeed. No filters.

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