Ever hear a voice and it reminds you of someone else’s voice? Someone long departed or otherwise gone from your life? You don’t realize it, it’s an involuntary thing, but when people speak… And in particular when that voice is familiar and heard often- their voice imprints on you; not unlike fossil indents on rock. I have two sons. Both grown men and at times when they speak, I am reminded not so much of their deceased father, but rather his brother. Sometimes my sons speak and I am reminded of their uncle; not in the context of their words; not at all- but rather the timbre of their voice is similar and I am at once in the present and also in the past.
As I traverse the same roads, looking for the yellows that are the first sign of spring, I am reminded that somewhere in a far off place, colorful kata prayer flags are hung and ripple in breezes. I put my mind there.
My granddaughters often turn a phrase and I catch a gleam in their eyes which call to mind my own daughter (now 20 and binding herself, living as a male) at that innocent age. The past and present forever waltzing.
Yesterday I was at a mall; as much for exercise as for a purpose: to celebrate my granddaughter Lex’s birthday which I missed; having been sick with a virus on her birthday, the one she shares with Dr. Suess. My other granddaughter was born the day after Christmas and my grandson will be 9 on Easter Day this year. As for me, I was born on Thanksgiving. Aren’t we a bunch?
There were at least 6 birthdays to mark this March. March began with a trip to Boston and marches toward an end at last. I’m weary from this endless March. And blessed by it too of course.
At the mall, Al and I rode an indoor carousel with Lex, we watched her “build a bear” at the toy shop, bought her chocolate coins and went to Nathan’s where I picked at fried food… “Let’s eat fast Grandma. I see horses going around in a circle!”
The Easter bunny was at the mall too. Seated in bowtied splendor on a comfy couch. We approached the counter and inquired about the cost for a 4 yr. old to get a picture done with the rabbit. $30.00?!! As we started to walk away, the young lady at the counter (who bore such a strong resemblance to my younger self we could’ve been related) said, “but you can let her go say Hi to the Easter bunny.”
The young woman then “looked the other way” as I proceeded to take cell phone pictures (for free) of Lex and the Rabbit. I didn’t thank her aloud but I met her gaze. She turned away, pretending not to see all the picture taking.
Small kindnesses are like the familiarity of voices. They are reminders that there is a continuum we all share: the deep resonant nuance of some voices, that echo with inherited cadence from other generations. So too, kindnesses perpetuated; learned somewhere involuntarily and passed from one to another.
My family as a rule doesn’t care much for Easter.
I don’t know why that is.
The world can seem confined. Ordinary and small. Then you remind yourself of high mountains and deep oceans and you are at once a part of earth’s timbre. In Nepal, people are dining at a YacDonalds (yes that’s a real place) and somewhere scientists are picking up strange sounds from one of the deepest parts of the ocean: the Marianna’s Trench.
And so here are Easter bunnies past and present just because. I’ll let you decide which was my free picture of Lexi.