THE JOY OF EASTER EGGS
I’ve always loved dyeing Easter eggs! When Heather and Patrick were little, it was a compulsory spring ritual. One year I read about Martha Stewart’s intriguing method of coloring eggs wrapped in multicolor onion skins. The finished product was a beautiful tortoise pattern—each one slightly different. They were so beautiful I couldn’t bear to toss them. Second discovery—if the hardboiled decorated eggs do not have cracks in them, you can keep them year after year. I began carefully storing them in egg cartons and have now accumulated nearly four dozen Easter eggs—some over 30 years old. I pull them out each season and display them in the egg cups I’ve collected and on a metal tree form that holds a dozen eggs.
Each year, I try to find at least one new method of decorating the eggs—and invite someone (grandchildren, children of friends) to join me in my project!
The first spring I lived in Nashville, I was staying at John and Kay’s home. Kay had a group of young girls from Rwanda who came over every week for Bible study and fun together and I soon fell in love with them. I asked if they’d like to do the onion skin Easter eggs with me, which they did. Each of them had a couple of the eggs to take home—and hopefully, to keep. The first couple of Easters at my Crieve Hall home, I invited Kay and the girls to join me there for more egg decorating, an Easter egg hunt in the back yard, and a springtime lunch together.
Since then, Sam, Eli, Charlotte and Ezra have joined me in the Easter egg rituals—and I still have some of the first ones they decorated. We’ve colored eggs using shaving cream and food dye, with natural dyes like red cabbage boiled in water, with colored markers and metallic paints, and this year’s favorite, bright blue nail polish.
Even the pandemic couldn’t stop the tradition. A friend brought her young son and daughter over one day last week and wearing masks, enjoyed creating beautiful Easter eggs with me. And Saturday, Charlotte decorated her own egg masterpieces in my Florida room.
The African girls are young women now—and although they’ve had many hardships and heartbreaks over the years—somehow I know they are being transformed into something beautiful just like our Easter eggs were. Looking at my collection of Easter eggs each spring gives me hope as I remember all the children I’ve loved watching grow up and change—but also stay the same!