Empire Swimming (and Easter)

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Empire Swimming at LaGuardia

E is for Empire Swimming and Easter.

As a swim coach, I thought it funny that I ended up on my first flight to Laity Lodge with a swim team. I didn’t mind.  Swimmers are some of my favorite people in the whole world.

Especially when I get to overhear conversations like this —

Swimmer A: This is my first time flying. I hope I get a window seat.

Swimmer B:  You know you can’t open the window, right?

I laughed, wondering if Swimmer A thought he could open the window and stick his hand out to zoom through the oncoming air.

When the plane took off, I thought of him again, especially when I got that giddy feeling that makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time as the wheels leave the ground.

Flying is such a miracle.

Over a hundred people crammed into a metal tube, with their suitcases and laptops and books — but somehow that heavy thing climbs into the sky.

I really do grin like a 10-year-old and get the watery eyes of a senior citizen at the moment of transformation from earthbound to air-born.

It happened to me again yesterday.  Not the flying part, but the laughing/crying part.

Easter Sunday is, in my opinion, the most important Christian holiday. The crux of our faith lies in the truth that Jesus bore the penalty for our sins on the cross and then conquered death in His resurrection.

Churches around the world have traditions associated with Easter.  Over the years we’ve attended churches with sunrise services, cardboard testimonies, hymn sings, dramas, and traditional liturgies. Each new way of celebrating offers a fresh look at an old but oh-so-beautiful story.

The church we currently attend closes with Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus and a joyful procession of the children.

Curmudgeonly me, I said to Bud yesterday morning before church, “I’m ready to move on to something besides caterpillars and butterflies.”

I’ll blame it on the persistent headache I’ve had for the past week, but, more likely, I’m just a grump.

Caterpillar down the center aisle

Caterpillar down the center aisle

When the procession started, though, and the caterpillar came waddling up the center aisle, I felt that wheels-leaving-the-runway giddiness.

And when the children threw off the caterpillar shroud to reveal the butterflies, I confess, my eyes got a little watery.

As the procession continued with waving flags and ever larger butterflies, I was thankful for the joy that filled our sanctuary.

Because, if there was one thing I needed to be reminded of yesterday, it was joy.

Confetti-filled, silly-stringed, laugh-out-loud joy.

The kind where it doesn’t matter whether or not the window opens, because you can still feel the wheels leave the tarmac, and know that it’s a miracle, and that you’re being carried somewhere beyond, somewhere amazing.

Easter is that kind of amazing, pressed down, shaken over, overflowing.

The biggest miracle of them all.

For me.

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10 thoughts on “Empire Swimming (and Easter)

  1. What a lovely post. I know exactly that moment you talk about when wheels leave the ground – simultaneous laughing and crying is an apt description. Easter, like so many miracles in our lives, is truly a blend of deep sorrow and immense joy. If we have a purpose in life, it is to recognize those moments are what make life worth living.

  2. I know some swimmers and they feel they have to swim everything. I ask why? They always say because it’s there.

  3. Fun post.
    LOVE Easter. But we’ve never had Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus for Easter Sunday services. That would be so-o-o great. (I always think of it for Christmas, but it BETTER fits Easter and the Lord’s resurrection.)
    I’m doing 5 blogs for the Ato Z Blog Challenge this year. (I did 10 last year, but it was a LOT.) Hope you’ll stop by at: Heart of a Ready Writer (Bible/devotional), Kicking MS to the Curb, The Mane Point: A Haven for Horse Lovers, Nicker and Ink Poetry & Humor, or Practically at Home.
    Happy A to Z April!

    • The first time I heard the Hallelujah Chorus on Easter I thought the same thing — that this is a Christmas song — but it truly is the perfect celebratory song for Easter.

      And, WOW! Five blogs? I barely have time for my one! I’ll definitely be visiting yours.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  4. I attended an Anglican service on Good Friday- very unusual, as I come from a Presbyterian background. Three hours from noon through three, just like the hours of the crucifixion, with scripture, music, and reflections by members of the congregation going through most of the stations of the cross.

  5. hello! I’m visiting from the a-z and poked around your blog a bit. I like your Easter post and your quotes from Flannery O’Connor. I studied her in college. You must be Catholic. 🙂 My folks, 92 and 95, both have some dementia, not Alzheimers, but I could so relate to your post on the marmalade and hotdogs. I’ve been helping my folks for 5 years, and I can appreciate your ups and downs. I write about those things too, on my blog. Come visit me, if you’d like: http://adventuresintheballpark.blogspot.com

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