My Easter weekend, continued:
4. Sunday morning, I woke up to the sound of bells clanging furiously. At first I was confused, since they didn’t normally ring this early. From my window, I could see that dawn had arrived, dressed in all of her colors. Then I remembered that this was Easter; the bells were honoring the day that Christ rose from the dead.
I, however, wasn’t ready to do any rising just yet. When I finally rolled out of bed and opened my door, a chocolate bunny was waiting in the hall. I was so happy, since looking for the Easter basket is one of my favorite events. I found out later that one of my hall mates, Nicole, was the culprit.
Many of the international students attended mass at the Freiburg cathedral. The place was packed, so we stood in the aisles. I was completely stunned that I was in a German cathedral on Easter morning, with classical music and Gregorian chants and a pipe organ filling the air around me. I took a video, if you’d like to see it. I apologize for the poor cinematography; I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to film, and I didn’t want to offend any of the churchgoers, so I hid the camera beneath the jacket on my arm. I hope you still get the sense of the awe-inspiring.
I then took a train ride to Kandern, since the Holladays had invited me to join them and 45 other people for a giant Easter potluck at the Art Factory. Since lamb is my family’s traditional Easter entree, I was very happy that lamb was the main course. Everyone enjoyed spending time with their friends and family, and laughter filled the entire first floor.
Near the end of the festivities, one of the men received a call. A member of their community who was very loved had just unexpectedly passed away. Suddenly the room was quiet, and everyone gathered to pray and hug. I was torn; I was saddened by the loss in these wonderful people’s lives, but it wasn’t my place to comfort or console, since I never knew the woman. At the same time, I felt joy that she was now in Heaven and that she shared her arrival in Heaven with her Lord, who had conquered death the same day many centuries ago. It was a cool feeling, and felt completely out of place with the damp sense of mourning that filled the Art Factory.
I didn’t know what to do or say, so it seemed best that I leave. Everyone else was heading home as well, so I called Jenna and she invited me to stay at her house for a few hours.
The James family is a lot of fun. They never run out of things to talk about, subjects ranging from hilarious observations to deeply spiritual reflections. I feel very at home with them, so it was nice to spend the last hours of Easter with a family.
5. The Monday after Easter is a Feiertag (or holiday), so all the shops were still closed. The international group was invited to a brunch, where we received more chocolate bunnies! Two of the girls from Great Britain had the wonderful idea of hiding the chocolate Easter eggs outside, so I was even able to participate in an Easter egg hunt! Appropriately enough, the egg I found was under a tree (yay trees!):
Afterwards, we went to the zoo:
I’ve learned that it matters less where you spend your holidays, and more with whom. People are what make a holiday special, like my kind roommate who left a bunny outside my door, the two families in Kandern, and most importantly God.
Hope you had a happy Easter with your loved ones!