When I was growing up…as in the 50s, and some of you were not even a thought, Easter week was not so like these days. Now some of us have to look at the calendar to remember, and for some of us it is just business as usual.
It is very comprehensible. We have changed as a society in general.
I remember during Holy Week (Semana Santa), you could not talk loud, no music on the radio, no television (we didn’t have any until mid 60s), and my mother could not beat us up. That was a good part of the holiday. Could not eat any meat. Lots of fish, mainly bacalao (cod-fish) prepared every way imaginable. Loved the bacalaitos fritos (fried cod-fish patties drained in oil), very yummy! Also, we went to the beach a lot, but had to be very quiet and behave better than usual. On Holy Friday, you could not speak one word until around Noon, no cleaning of anything, so the maids had the day off, and we used to spend the day in contemplation of each other’s faces. It was a nothing-to-do kind of day. Until the afternoon procession…
Now we are talking about scary stuff. It was a long and big procession throughout the downtown area. Men dressed in black outfits with black hoods and carrying a glass coffin with a statue inside, then the Virgin Mary dressed in purple with tears in her eyes. These were humongous statutes and all very scary and sad-looking. I remember I used to hide when the procession would pass by my house. I would have nightmares remembering these images. These two images I borrowed from sites on the internet that illustrate how Semana Santa is celebrated in Latin America to this day.
Then on Easter Sunday, there was no colored eggs, no bunnies, no searching for gifts or money, only going to mass and having a feeling of being glad because Jesus had conquered death.
I remembered my first Easter Week away from the Dominican Republic. I was shocked at the way it was observed. I used to be an extremely judgemental individual. Very unhappy. Later I learned that when you judge others, you are defining yourself and your weaknesses. In a way, when you criticize others, you are considering that you are better than them. Oh, not so good a thing to do.
Live and let others carry on with their own interpretation of life. It is between them and God, anyways. This is a philosophy that is very easy and light to live with. I am making some adjustments every second of my life.
This was not the way I perceived this posting was going to go, but there it is. Keep on learning and reflecting until that last breath.
After such a profound and heavy moment, and traumatizing memories, I am going to leave you to enjoy a very special place for me. Oak Island, North Carolina. A visit to someone very special and dear to me, and at the same time, another cloud collecting beautiful moment.
So it was today, 19th April, 2011…a day to remember…
Your Happy Contessa
Let the glory of the Creator be reflected in the way we carry ourselves and in our love for each other.