My Own Private Easter

Pikila (deviantart.com)‘A Boy in the Forest’ by Pikila

When I was a young man, I began searching for the meaning of life. Along the way, I wrote a travel journal, a mix of prose and poetry, and labelled it Fool’s Odyssey.

Having failed to find something that could fill me, I’d returned home empty. Still, I figured, empty was better than being full of the wrong stuff.

I’d gone for a drive in the foothills, along the edge of the forest, and spotted a little country school.

Easter was coming, and a young teacher with glasses and a corsage had gathered her kids on the playground. She was telling them how the Easter Bunny had hid gifts in the bushes and woods around the school. She never once let on with so much as a grin that she and the custodian had probably been out there early that morning hiding all those goodies.

Still, the kids were fooled.

Just like me.

All of my life, it seemed, I’d been running around looking for gifts, and yet never was satisfied. Why? I could have spent the rest of my life opening all the gifts the world was so full of:

Extravagant sunsets and generous winds,

and gullible animals that somehow were willing to be your friend,

and dexterous hands full of fingers that moved

just when you thought they ought to,

and blood, and muscles, and skin that can heal itself

and make some more of itself when you hurt yourself,

and vocal cords, and oil paint, and movies and…

Why was I never satisfied with so many gifts?

The teacher finished her briefing. The little caissons squirmed with military joy. The last thing she said was this: “Whenever you find a gift, be sure to thank the Easter Bunny!” Then the troops broke like shrapnel and fired in a million directions, looking for the gifts the Easter Bunny had left!

All except one. He just stood there thinking, it seemed, about everything the teacher had said. And then after the longest time he turned and very deliberately began walking away from the school and up into the forest. I thought he’d seen me, but he hadn’t. He just kept walking, as if he’d go right on up into the mountains, or even through them, if necessary. He was that determined.

Where was he going?

I had to know.

So I decided to follow him.

I caught up with him on the other side of the road. “Hi!” I said, out of breath. He turned, and said “Hi” back, and then resumed walking.

“Wait!” I asked. “Where are you going?”

He stopped again and stared at me, pityingly, as though I were the child, and not he. “I’m going to find the Easter Bunny,” he said.

And then I understood.

I finally understood.

To read the next episode, click here.

fools-odyssey-title-art-2

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Fool's Odyssey, For Pastors and Teachers, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to My Own Private Easter

  1. Pingback: My Own Good Friday | Mitch Teemley

  2. Mitch, this is such a powerful and poignant story. I’m going to keep this one. If you see it turn up as a sermon illustration, don’t be surprised. I hope that’s okay with you.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Debi Walter says:

    Isn’t that the point of gifts? To draw attention to the Giver of the gifts? I love this Mitch. Thank you. It’s nice to hear this saga unfold in your personal journey as I am facing my own. With all that’s happening in the world, so much heartache, I love when I see the next post of your Fool’s Odyssey. It’s a bright spot for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I like your parable very much!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. hannahtk says:

    Oh, that’s fabulously invigorating!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mitch I love this so much. You are an amazing writer.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can never quite guess how your stories will end. I think this means you’re an awesome story teller, Mitch!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fool’s Odyssey has been a fascinating trip, Mitch. This is one of the most fascinating and touching of them all! Remembering Isaiah’s poignant words, “And a little child shall lead them.” Indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a beautiful story! And a reminder that the gifts we seek are all around us, given freely, and we never see them. Something to treasure during these challenging times. Thank you for sharing this lovely parable….out of the mouths of babes!! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Light Strikes My Darkened Heart | Mitch Teemley

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