By Alkali Springs Correspondent
When we think of Easter, we think of nature's first blossoms making green tinges in meadow and mountain. We also think of flowers. Not flowers of the city, mind you, but crocuses, buttercups, roosterheads and pussy willows.
We think of small children on Clear Creek bringing home a pail filled with lavender blue crocus petals, and a Bear Paw mother boiling them and some eggs on an old Majestic stove and then those same children dying the eggs that beautiful delicate purple blue of Bear Paw crocuses.
For some reason, don't ask why, we think around Easter of the first meadowlarks coming back to meadows and prairies. Maybe it is because the meadowlark is a bird of our youth and who can ever forget his song? And then we think of young homestead children capturing gophers and turning their tails in for a bounty, if you can imagine. That is what the meadowlark's song is saying, "Go-phers, three cents a tail!" And who has heard geese flying overhead going north this time of year and no thought that the geese are flying, can Easter be far behind?
Good Friday, specifically, is the time that our father planted his sweet peas and potatoes - not a day earlier, not a day later. It didn't matter if it was a blizzard on Good Friday, those things would be planted! And mind you, this was the man who often said that planting in Havre should not be done until one could sit on the ground without clothes of any kind and be warm. Still, though, the tradition of his father before him that sweet peas and potatoes should be planted on Good Friday was heavy and he never veered from that all of his life.
For folks like us, growing up at Van Orsdel Methodist Church in Havre, who could ever forget Easter. Ella Anderson would be playing the pipe organ so loudly that it would shake the very foundations of the building playing the song, "Christ the Lord is Risen Today." What else could it be? There would be Easter lilies all over the altar and there were cages full of yellow canaries. At the end of mighty Easter hymns, when the organ and congregation stopped singing, there would be those canaries, still singing at the top of their tiny voices. Then Pearl Ann Houtz would get up and sing, "I Know my Redeemer Liveth," and after all that, there was no doubt in anyone's mind that the Easter story was true and that it was being lived again and again at Easter time at Van Orsdel.
And, of course, in later years, we found that the same story is told again and again every spring out in the beautiful Bear Paws in the first pussy willows, and the first green of God's mountain grass. Even later, we found that same story was told again and again in every rock and stone on the prairies.
So, once again, gentle readers, from us and ours, to you and yours, a very happy Easter. May this one be the very best ever!