|Me Hunting Eggs 8 or 9 years old|
Back in the early days of life in the commune when all of us children were very young, we did not celebrate birthdays. The adults told us we were all eternal beings, that we were ageless and would never die. This belief was even taken to the extreme of putting it on driver’s licenses and photo ID. I remember thinking this was a strange concept and even as a young child never quite believed it. So this ideology literally stole my birthday.
But that is not my point, my story has to do with the big party we did have every year, Easter. This was also called the Fish and Honey Feast in the commune as fish and honey is what Jesus ate after the resurrection. As a major celebration geared toward the children, there was a huge egg hunt (with real hard-boiled eggs, sometimes they did not fare so well), and everyone dressed in bright colors, sang, danced, feasted on fish and honey (and hard boiled eggs of course). I remember having a distinct dislike of fish for many years, it seemed no one knew how to properly cook fish in the early years; it was always bland and dry. I’m also pretty sure I ate a few “bad eggs” because of the following stomach ache. But it was all worth it because the rest of the day belonged to us kids. On this day everyone was in an all around jovial mood.
After the egg hunt there were prizes for the children, in the early days, the prizes were all handmade, we did not know how lucky we were. People must have spent endless hours sewing dolls and carving wooden toys. I clearly remember one Easter when it was my little brothers turn to pick his prize he had eyes for only one thing. A very odd choice for a small boy, I always thought, but it’s what he wanted most. A hand carved and painted wooden giraffe, and it is still among his prize possessions today. If you asked me all those hours crafting handmade toys was time well spent. I know many of us commune kids have a few prized possessions from our childhood still today.
|My little Bro's Prize Giraffe|
The biggest prize however, was granted to the finder of the Golden Egg. This was like a legend to us kids. The finder of this Egg not only got first pick off of the prize tables, but also got a huge party thrown in their honor in which they were crowned king or queen for the day. This was something every one of us children wanted so badly we could taste it.
One of the rules of the hunt was you could only hunt until you were 13 years old. So, on Easter of my 13 year, when the shofar (or conch) was blown to signify the beginning of the hunt I set out full speed to find this majestic egg for the last time. I was never the type of child that thought I could find it or ever thought I would, but luck was on my side that day. I scrambled through the mud, blackberry brambles, over stumps and logs following the clues that were given out one at a time throughout the day. Cold and wet due to the lovely North West spring weather with my hands covered in brightly colored egg dye, I finally spot under a rock, nestled in the moss the glorious Golden Egg. Victory was mine! I would be Queen! Cheers erupted, my family was overjoyed for me, and I believe many members were secretly glad this honor was going to a “back of the lake” kid. This was the term we used for those of us who lived farther back on the ranch where there was no electricity or flush toilets. I guess you could liken it to a hippie ghetto.
To this day finding that egg is one of my fondest memories, and we (second generation commune kids) carry on this tradition to this day with our own children, in one form or another. It is a highlight for my boys every year, they search for that egg with same enthusiasm I'm sure I had in my day. My eldest was also a golden egg finder and king for a day, an experience I’m sure he will also never forget. Happy Easter everyone!
|My son's proud moment finding the Golden Egg 2009|