BEL’OCCHIO … the beautiful eye
When I was very young Easter was as exciting as Christmas. We always had something new to wear to church. Growing up during the war years and the tail end of the Great Depression a pair of white gloves or hair ribbons was a thrilling gift.
My dream was to wear an Easter Bonnet. Irving Berlin’s song … “In your Easter Bonnet, with all the frills upon it, you’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade” inspired me. I was not exactly sure what an Easter bonnet looked like but I wanted one.
Weather was another problem with my Easter dream. Cold and miserable. No daffodils or tulips blooming. Just snow, or the dirty remnants of it. Dressing for church meant warm scarves and hats. Flopping galoshes and unattractive heavy brown cotton stockings that bagged at the knees.
The light through the stained glass windows of St Alban’s Cathedral coloured the congregation. The air was heavy with the perfume of white lilies on the alter. The oak pews and the padded kneeling pads creaked and groaned as we stood and sang, kneeled and prayed, sat and listened. The pages of the hymn books fluttered and whispered . And, not one single Easter bonnet in sight.
I loved the ritual of Easter dinner preparations. The polishing of the silver. The pressing of the linen tablecloth. The setting the beautiful table. The food – oh the glorious food. An enormous ham cut into think pink slices and garnished with home-made mustard pickles. Mounds of snowy white whipped potatoes redolent with cream and butter. And for dessert flaky rich pies. At least two different kinds. And, always always a three tired cake plate with delicate cookies and fruit cakes – just in case one was still hungry.
HAPPY EASTER my dear, dear friends. Now I’m going to nibble the chocolate ears off my Easter bunny.