Easter egg hunts are a mixture of many things. For children, they offer an opportunity to dash around a yard or room looking for colorful eggs. Some of those eggs may be filled with candy; others may be hard-boiled and dyed while still others may contain money.
There is always the driver from within many youngsters to find the most eggs. There is something in us that wants to collect the most, to be better than the next chap.
That works with many children, however, not for all. We fondly recall our granddaughter Kate, now getting ready for high school graduation. When sent forth to fetch colorful eggs at a township egg hunt, she found one, and was satisfied with that. While her parents urged her to run out and get more, she simply gloried in her first find.
At my former church, the vicar gloried in the annual festivities surrounding Easter. He loved the egg hunt, and after all the youngsters had counted their eggs, he'd send them out again with the admonition, "The golden egg is still out there. No one has found it yet." So the children would dutifully scamper across the yard once again, perhaps finding one or two colored eggs, but no one ever found that elusive, golden egg. Was there one? Who will ever know? Was he teaching the children a life lesson that some things evade even our most rigorous searching?
For parents, Easter egg hunts are a cross between a dutiful obligation and a recollection of younger, happier times. Would it be Easter without the kitchen being filled with the smell of vinegar and cups of colorful egg dye? I often pity the hens that had to produce those myriad eggs for us humans to color them. They have no idea that what they are producing is an important facet of this holiday.
I often thought that it must have been a forward-thinking candy maker who latched onto Easter as a way to boost profits. Skip the chicken eggs; eat the chocolate ones, or the fanciful bunnies, solid or hollow, or perhaps other little animal shapes. Then came peanut butter filled creations, and out the window went the notion of losing weight over the holiday.
Back to egg hunts. Having watched the county's Easter egg hunt at the County Park for many years, it's amazing how that three-minute-long annual solemnity brings out the crowds.
No one goes home emptyhanded.
Many parents get there way too early, wanting a good spot for their youngsters. Such places aren't really necessary, since there are plenty of eggs for all, but the notion is there, go early. That said, many youngsters tire of waiting, and find it almost cruel and unusual punishment to have to see a field of colorful eggs, and not be able to fetch them before the signal. Some cry, others get nasty waiting, but it's all part of the hunt.
Whether you find yourself in a yard, living room, beach or someplace else, and there is an Easter egg hunt, just drink it in. Enjoy the action that will take place before your eyes. It will be over in two shakes of a bunny's tail.
Just for kicks, put yourself back in that churchyard with the admonition, "Find the golden egg. Nobody's found it yet." May you find that golden egg and rejoice. Happy Easter!