It’s a big day in some parts of the world. How can I not comment?
Because this country has a long-standing relationship with Rome (after all, it was the original seat of the Holy Roman Empire, before it was chopped up start the internecine squabbling forum known today as “Europe”), Christian celebrations are marked by national holidays. Without these free days during the year, Germans would work even more (or have to have more vacation days legislated). Anyways, I can enjoy a nice quiet Sunday at home, like 80 to 90% of the rest of the population of this country of religious refusniks. Few, if any, feel compelled to impress their neighbors with church attendance, unlike in another country I know.
As a child, I was dragged to church each and every Sunday, plus Christmas, which had the bad habit of frequently occurring on other days of the week. I could have spent those hours much more productively, either outside getting dirty or inside teasing my siblings. Church was so restrictive to youthful vigor.
The only lasting effect of Easter Sunday incarceration is an appreciation for the fragrance of hyacinths, which had always decked the halls. There must have been daffodils and the odd lily, but only the taint of frilly hyacinths lingers in my olfactory memory.
I vaguely recall the early morning scramble to get to the church on time, but can only imagine my mother’s stress at getting three (one of which was unruly) children and herself ready for the weekly display. Although I do not recall any particular incident, I am sure that she lost her patience with me on many occasions. Photographs of me might suggest an angelic child, but everyone knows how easy it is to deceive a camera lens.
My dawdling during preparation and my fidgeting during services must have been an early manifestation of my inkling that there was something fishy about religion. My B.S. sensors developed at a young age; but I did not have the courage of my convictions until much later, when I was beyond my mother’s grip. I was fortunate not to have come of age during the Spanish Inquisition, rather during a time of liberal awakening.
All those that have flown to the Mediterranean to escape the usual cold, rainy Easter weather have prayed to the wrong god. The North Atlantic Oscillation is oscillating differently this year, with the Azores high as unruly as me on an Easter Sunday morn. Germany is enjoying better weather than Spain or Greece, bathed with unseasonal sunshine and warm temperatures. Nature always wins, even against the most entrenched religious belief...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.