Renewal, Reflection and A New Outlook

April seems to have become a time of reflection for me.  A time to look back and see where I’ve been, decisions I’ve made, the result of those decisions, and a time for renewal. 

My parents were born in the 1920’s and as most from that generation were, they were very conservative and extremely overprotective of themselves and their families.  Girls, in particular, were to be seen, be quiet and do what they were told.  This is not an entirely bad thing and Lord knows I don’t mean it that way.  My parents were very strict and very opinionated; they taught me respect for life and my elders and most of all for myself.

Oddly enough though I find myself looking back and realizing that I have, all of my life always sought their approval for everything I did.  If I didn’t get it I would often either back down or find a way to do what I wanted then come back and show them what I’d done – but still I would somehow seek their approval.  Approval I rarely got completely.

So now I find myself at an odd part of the journey where I make my own decisions, but there’s no one to say; “don’t do that,” or “you can’t do that,” or “you shouldn’t do that,” or “that will never work, what will people say?” or “that’s just stupid.”  There are only echoes of voices inside my head, voices I am learning adjust to and put aside so that I can live.

What’s more, upon yet more reflection I’ve come to realize that I actually sought out and surrounded myself – at times – with people who would be negative, or would intentionally throw obstacles in my path making it difficult if not impossible for me to continue on with the choices I was contemplating.  What a sad thing to find out about myself, yet, I am very thankful for this discovery because it means that knowing this about myself, I will now make more informed and deliberate choices concerning the people who I choose to be closest to me.   My friends are my family that I have the ability to choose.

We all know many people and it is through the wondrous variety and input of different personalities that we learn and grow in so many ways.  I am so very thankful for all the people I have met in the last few years, weeks, days.  It’s the people I’ve met that have come into my life and make it richer and fuller in so many ways!   How I love those that challenge my thinking, make me smile, cause me to feel on deeper levels and to seek higher knowledge!

I am thankful today is Easter.  Easter truly is a time for renewal, rebirth, regeneration, reflection and resurrection. 

Cherry Coley ©

Easter Is Coming!!

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It’s Easter time!  Easter is one of the most significant times of the year for Christians.  It is when Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice for mankind.  God gave the ultimate sacrifice in allowing His son to take on all the guilt and shame of the world that was not his, so much that He could not look at His son, and had to sit silent and allow Him to be judged and die.  Easter is the celebration of the resurrection and defeat of evil and death.

I know all that, grew up with it, wrote plays about it, sang songs, took part in feasts and revivals over the years.  While Christmas is the birth of hope and joy, Easter is the birth of forgiveness and faith.

Easter is also about the Easter bunny.  Oh sure, there is a debate, but really, should there be?  I mean come on, it’s a bunny that hides eggs, is there really a contest?  It’s just for fun people, live a little, have a scavenger hunt, play with your children you know they will only be young for a little while and childhood just doesn’t last long enough now days.

So why is this year different? Well, for most people it’s not, other than it is later in the year being in April instead of March.  For me, it is different this year because this year, oddly enough, Easter falls on April 8th which is my mom’s birthday. 

Though I try to get into the spirit of the season, I confess to having a hard time this year.  It’s not that I don’t want too; it’s just a sort of hollow, bitter-sweet thing at the moment, yes, even though I know the wonderful promise that comes with Easter. 

Still, the bluebonnets are beautiful this year and the kids have had lots of fun hunting eggs, the music is beautiful as always and the weather has been exceptional.  Me?  I will keep putting one foot in front of the other, feeling the sunshine and waiting for the warmth to be more than just skin deep.  I have so very many things to be thankful for, and spring always brings new growth, beautiful flowers and birds raising their voices in song.  Nature celebrates and renews in spring and so shall I.  Here’s to a new start, a renewed spirit and a rebirth of hope and faith! 

Cherry Coley ©

People Watching

I occasionally work on the weekends doing demonstrations and handing out samples at Target.  I started working this job for several reasons: extra money, meeting new people, expanding my horizons by doing something different, and my favorite thing – people watching.

Today I was handing out the Lindt Lindor milk chocolate bunny samples.  They were tiny bite sized versions of the larger Easter bunnies and they were delicious!

My favorite part of this job?  Sure, I like seeing the parents hand their children the little bunnies and watching their faces light up, but more than that I LOVE giving those little bunnies out to the older people

There were three older women, probably in their mid to late 60’s that were just plain giddy when they were handed the bunnies.  One of them laughed and clapped her hands before taking the bunny.  Then they all started talking about Easters from their childhood, hunting eggs, going to church on Easter Sunday and the tricks they used to play on each other.

Yep, that’s what I enjoy, the interaction with people of all ages and just for a moment, getting a small glimpse into another life.  It makes me want to gather a whole lot of eggs and Easter bunnies and head to the nursing homes or children’s ward of the hospitals to wish them a Happy Easter.   How wonderful to have an opprotunity to share a smile with someone else for a moment.  I know it really made my day.

Cherry Coley (c)