Spring is a time of renewal, when the earth begins to generate brighter shades of color.
In my family, we celebrate partly with an Easter egg hunt. This year, the eggs were dyed by my nieces and nephews. Some were decorated with glitter; others with the frowning faces of "Angry Birds," sketched onto the shells with colored pencils. The most elaborate eggs looked like characters from the recent "Star Wars" film. There was so much creativity on display, so much plain and simple joy.
We adults hid the eggs in a park in Deerfield IL, near my brother's home, as the kids played on a basketball court in the distance. It took quite some time to hide all 114 of the egg we were carrying, in three heavy baskets.
Eventually we ran out of hiding places, so we started hiding the eggs in the open - on the stairs of the playground equipment, for instance (see below), or near the trunks of trees.
The kids had great fun on the hunt. They spun around like little tops, whizzing from one side of the park to the other, trying to collect more eggs than anyone else. In the end, they found only 110. Everyone joined in the hunt for the last four, but we could not find them. Did the birds take them back, we wondered, or did the squirrels get them? Just then it started to rain harder, so we walked back to my brother's house for a wonderful family dinner.
Memories of the weekend stay with me as I work in the studio today, reminding myself that creativity is a simple thing, a primal force of nature, best followed, not led, like a spinning top, maintaining balance, pursuing a course towards its own destination, sure that it will get where it's going. In the same way, we artists have to know when to back off a little and let creativity work its quiet magic, trusting that the piece we're bringing into being will assume its own true nature in the end.
I'll end with a photo of one of my nephew's "Angry Bird" eggs. It's destined to be saved, not eaten!