Keep Looking

gold eggAt least once in our lives, we all deserve to find the golden egg.  Whatever it is for you–a place of peace, a true friend, a story to tell, a community, forgiveness, love, sobriety, calm, true north, delight–I hope you find the golden egg.  If you don’t find it today, keep looking.

Back when I was the spinster aunt, I volunteered to orchestrate an egg hunt for the kids.  The first year, when it was just Jackson, it was easy–we hid the same 12 eggs for an hour.  Every time he toddled over with one, we’d sling it back in the grass as soon as he turned his back.  He’d find it again with just as much delight as the first time.

One year, I did a hunt for Grant and Jake when their family invited me to the mountains for Easter weekend.  Their mom asked me not to go crazy with the candy, so I filled their eggs with coins…they walked away with a low-fat, sugar free $50!

Once you own 200+ plastic eggs, you get to do the egg hunt every year.  I love doing it.  Nana and Papa have a magical yard (that comes from the “magic” of 25+ years of labor) filled with hidey holes, lush grass and blooming fruit trees.  Every summer, Daddy tills up a couple of especially well-hidden eggs when he’s putting in the garden!

As the boys grew older, I decided that EVERYONE deserved to find a gold egg so I bought six.  The rule is, you can only find ONE gold egg, even if you stumble on more than one.  This tradition led to one of my favorite Easter stories a few years ago.

We had already done an easy hunt in the vegetable garden for the little kids.  Then it was time for the five older kids to hunt in the backyard.  The parents fanned out to hide the eggs and I hid five gold eggs in really hard to find places.  The big kids tore through the yard, filling their baskets with loot.  Jackson struck gold first.  Then Grant.  Then Victoria.  Then Chase.  The eggs were dwindling out and everyone had found a gold one except for Jake, the youngest of the older kids.  We hunted and hunted and hunted.  For the life of me, I couldn’t remember the fifth hiding place.  Poor Jake seemed sad and left out and I hated that for him.  I know what it’s like to be the youngest and I wanted him to find that gold egg.

I was searching in the azaleas behind the pump house in a vain attempt to find that stupid gold egg.  Now, this next part will sound silly but some of you may understand.  When I need a little supernatural boost, I sometimes call on Richard’s spirit (or my Grandmother Eunice or my Pop or any other who might be looking over my shoulder).  So I mumbled under my breath, “Richard, I could use a little help finding this egg.  Please?”

A couple of minutes later, Jake shouts, “I found it!!!”  There he was, holding high a gold egg in a spot where I hadn’t hidden one.  He was BEAMING!  I was gobsmacked.  Where had that egg come from???

Then Jackson and Chase sidled up with big grins on their preteen faces.  Chase whispered, “We took one of our eggs and hid it so Jake could find it.”

I don’t remember if Nana and Papa ever found that fifth gold egg.   I do know that we all found what we were looking for.  Jake got his golden egg.  Jackson and Chase got the chance to do a kindness.  I got to see two sweet boys turn into generous young men.

9 thoughts on “Keep Looking

  1. Brett

    May i just say those are my sweet children. Now at 14 and 15…i mainly endure horrible smells that emit from every space they occupy (worse it is, the prouder they are).. looking at strange leg hair reserved for endless desire for food (mainly fast food) and a mumbling grunt, shrug or “whatever.” But THEN i read something like this and realize what wonderful young men they really have become. And every NOW AND THEN i will get a text that says, for no reason “I LOVE YOU MOM” and that thar folks is a golden egg.
    p.s. Aunt Ashley, i am going to print these and make a book for the boys.. ONE day they will appreciate it.

  2. Gay (BIG) Garrett

    Good memory. We are very lucky. Next year as you are wondering how the hunt became your job, you will need to read this again.

    I have pictures of Grant sitting in a flower pot with an egg in his hand and a look of wonder on his face. A picture of Vivi in her Easter dress with black patent Mary Janes and Carlos with his egg that was full of jelly beans, trying to decide if they were for throwing, planting or eating.

    We are lucky…woops I also remember the BIG boys acting like they had never been involved in something so serious as an egg hunt…Aunt Beth having to whistle and rule on false starts!!!

    Good grief, life can be so good. B. Gay

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