It’s Monday, and I am exhausted. I linger for a long time over my coffee, unwilling to get up and do something.
Yesterday was Easter. That isn’t what wore me out, though, although 40 days of Lent definitely creates a lean and hungry longing for coffee, chocolate and other things given up for the season.
I’m tired because Easter is the day of the year when everyone in the family comes to our house to eat, drink, visit relatives and friends and celebrate the return of coffee and chocolate to the menu. Celebrants always number at least 50, often more.
It is a wonderful celebration, and the house resounds with chatter and laughter. Folks move from room to room, greeting, talking and eating. Later, they spill into the yard for the annual Easter egg hunt. The kids fill their baskets and stir the celebration to new heights with loud whoops.
I love everything about Easter. There are friends and relatives I haven’t seen all year. There are new boyfriends, girlfriends and fiances. There are new babies to gaze in wonder at.
But I’m tired because before the first guest arrived, the entire house – every room – had to be emptied of the stuff that had settled there throughout the year, and then cleaned from top to bottom. That’s a lot of moving, toting, storing, sweeping, washing and polishing. It takes most of the week.
My grandmother would have simply called it spring cleaning, an annual ritual at her house. But this is more than that. It’s a race to the Lenten finish line, a mass purging of things to get rid of in preparation for everything new and beautiful.
And best of all, it’s things shared with family. That includes coffee and chocolate.