Easter is arriving just in time. I want the new beginning, symbolically and emotionally, that comes with Easter every spring.
It is true that I am in need of the new season that comes with an Easter bonnet.
The first part of this year has been littered with weeds that began with preparing taxes. This is a huge job that includes company and personal taxes and two deadlines of March 15 and April 15. Tink and I went to London in January for a week so I worked long into the nights beforehand to get all the bookkeeping in tip-top shape so the tax preparer could get started.
First of all, it’s routinely important to me to be considerate of the tax preparer because of others who wait until the last minute. I am always concerned about adding stress to others. I delivered a mountain of paperwork and asked, “Do you need anything else from me? I know we have forms that are still to come but this will get you started.”
“No, nothing else. Thank you.”
A few days later, we were sitting in the airport, waiting for our flight. I was trying to decompress from the anxiety of the previous two weeks when my cell phone rang. The accountant’s office was calling to say, “We can’t start on your taxes until you sign a letter of engagement.”
Things did not get easier from there.
When February begins to warm up, I suddenly become aware of the raggedness of a winter’s yard. As long as it’s cold, I don’t notice the leaves stacked against the house, the wildness of the shrubs, or the sad-looking bark chips that need to be freshened. But on the first sunny day, everything looks appallingly different.
“I feel like Boo Radley lives here,” I commented to Tink. We had just had the fun of watching “To Kill A Mockingbird” on a cinema screen so Boo and his decrepit house were on my mind.
This year’s spring awakening was worse than ever because the excessive rainfall had caused a couple of floods through the pastures on the Rondarosa. In its wake, the raging waters left trash, limbs, clumps of leaves, and other debris. It also took out a section of boarded fence.
All of this meant a good bit more work than usual. What can be disheartening about all this is getting help to do the work, so we have learned that, whenever possible, just lay our writing aside and do the work ourselves.
The fence that was laid to waste was at the front of the property, next to the road and the bridge that crosses the tiny river. While Tink labored hard for a week to rebuild the fence, I dragged the limbs and debris into a burn pile. This gave me the opportunity to watch as cars slowed where Tink was working, some even stopping, to take a look down from the bridge.
One night, after we had finished, Tink said, “It’s amazing the number of cars that slow or stop on that bridge.”
I laughed. “Those people are stopping because they’ve never seen a Hollywood producer build a fence in the rural South. They want to be sure and see it real good.”
Of course, while I’m eager for a symbolic change of seasons, I am reminded of last year’s Easter when I was hopeful that a couple of hard months were behind. I had on a new dress and was carrying a Crockpot of baked beans to the car for the covered dish dinner after church. I made a slight bobble in a high-heeled step which caused me to splash red sauce down the front of a bright pink dress. I sent Tink on to church so I could clean up.
However, I will remember always the real beginning promised by Easter. That matters much more than any earthly aggravations.
[Ronda Rich is the best-selling author of “Let Me Tell You Something.” Visit www.rondarich.com to sign up for her free weekly newsletter.]