Martha Randolph Carr Martha Randolph Carr, 4/9/2009 [Archive]

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

By Martha Randolph Carr

Easter is here and thank goodness. An annual reminder that there is more good peeking just around the corner if we're willing to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Kind of like a really good Easter egg hunt when I was a kid in downtown Philadelphia.

I had no idea when I set out with an empty basket how many of the brightly painted eggs I'd find but I ran headlong down the sidewalk anyway. I believed there were at least a few out there with my name on them and I couldn't wait to see what they looked like.

Remember how it felt as a child to set out on faith and somewhere among the roots of trees and tucked behind flower pots find a few small treasures. Okay, breathe in and feel how wonderful it was to have your small action pay off.

Now, everyone who's exhausted from all of the economic problems they've been facing please raise your hands. It's felt like an interminable squeeze around our wallets and our patience till we thought we might pop. Admit that you've wondered if there really is an end to all of it. Maybe this is what life looks like from here on out.

That philosophy can only keep working if we're willing to overlook all of the good that has come into our lives as well. It's possible to still appreciate all of it if we can let go of the frustration and relax into the moment.

Every year on Easter my three older sisters, younger brother and myself would each get a small Del Monte flip top can filled with dirt and tomato seeds. The instructions on the side said to water the seeds until they sprouted small, thin green stalks. Then prune them back to only a few so that the remaining ones would have a better chance of survival.

I could never do it because I always wanted to see what would happen if I gave them all a chance. I always replanted them a little early, gingerly pulling them apart and lovingly watching over them every day to see if all of them would survive. It was a dicey proposition in the cold, spring ground but I couldn't be deterred. I had what some might refer to as a sketchy childhood and it was tough for me to not give everything an opportunity to thrive.

Lo and behold, without fail every year every last one of those plants, sometimes as many as 12 would grow tall and bear fruit. Naysayers pointed out that my tomatoes weren't as big as everyone else's but it was okay with me because once again, the idea that faith pays off was played out in a little patch of dirt. I had a bounty of tomatoes that have never been matched.

So, this past year has been a little tough for all of us because we had an idea of how things ought to go and our plans took a hard left turn. A few people have even started to tell you to prune your dreams down to a more manageable size so that any of them have a better chance of surviving and bearing fruit. However, there is another way but it may require us all to keep going on faith and coming together to help each other. It will at the very least require you to keep moving forward with gratitude and that's where this holiday can help out.

Thank goodness Easter keeps coming back with the reminder that we are loved beyond words and not setting out on the journey alone.

If you'd like to get involved in the 2009 America Challenge to raise funds for community-based charities email me at Martha@CagleCartoons.com for more information. Together we're going to build stronger communities and empower ourselves.

Martha Randolph Carr's latest book, A Place to Call Home, a memoir about the reemergence of U.S. orphanages is available wherever books are sold. If you'd like Martha to come and speak to your group visit: www.newvoicespeakers.com. Email Martha at: Martha@caglecartoons.com or visit www.martharandolphcarr.com.

© 2009 Martha Randolph Carr. Martha's column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate. For info call Sales at (805) 969-2829 or email Sales@cagle.com.

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