Easter Finery –by Jinny Batterson
(The most openly egotistical of the writings on this blog so far, this prose poem celebrates my April 8 birthday. )
People tell me I was due to be born on Easter Sunday. I was late–by the time I put in my appearance, it was early morning two days later. I don’t remember ever seeing a snapshot of myself newborn; hospitals in those days contented themselves with vital signs and footprints. Photography had not yet invaded the nursery. The earliest picture of me in our family annals is one my father took about six months later. I was outdoors, sitting up sturdily in an old-fashioned baby carriage, wearing a decidedly sour expression beneath my sunbonnet. A spring or so after that, Dad posed Mom and me, dressed in our Easter finery, among blooming irises. For that picture, I almost cracked a smile.
Once I got old enough to sing in the choir in the small Episcopal church in our smallish town, I would sometimes, during boring sermons or lulls in the service, check the chart of Easter’s variable dates in the back of the Book of Common Prayer, hunting for when my birthday would fall on Easter. Bummer! It would take me into my seventh decade before my April birthday and Easter coincided. Being born two days late had cost me.
Years later, traveling in Japan, I learned that my birthday there is celebrated as the Buddha’s birthday, every year. I relish the idea of sharing a birthday with a jolly-looking, rotund, aging Eastern sage. Having an Easter birthday occasionally is fun, too. So when I can, I celebrate the spring with Buddha, with flowers, with Easter finery, and with a wide smile for the camera.