An egg hunt on Easter...

By Joanne Peterson | Apr 04, 2013

I’m home again in Edmonds. My week in Santa Rosa was perfectly lovely—but now it’s back to life in my real world.

It was a true vacation, spent with people I love, filled with notable activities and events. Winery visits and opera, lots of good talk, leisurely lunches and country drives--vineyards, fields of blooming mustard, hillsides of eucalyptus trees and live oaks, a glimpse of sun-splashed Alcatraz from the Golden Gate Bridge.

One reason for my trip was to read a poem at the San Francisco Public Library, where winners in a San Francisco-based literary competition presented their works.

When it was my turn to read, I climbed the steps to the stage as my name was announced, stepped behind the podium, slightly adjusted the microphone, looked up and realized to my dismay that the podium was on rollers—and that it was moving forward.

A potted rose tree, three-and-a-half feet tall, stood directly in front of the podium. People in the audience audibly gasped—as did I—as the top-heavy tree fell forward and crashed onto the stage. The director of the event, seated behind me, flew past me and grabbed the tree, lifted it up and set it firmly to my left, next to the podium. I did not hear exactly what she whispered to me.

At that moment, though, in memory as clear as if my grandmother stood nearby, I imagined my grandmother saying her oft-repeated words: “Pride goeth before a fall.”  Ah, yes, humility. I laughed.  Everyone else did, too. Then I read my poem. The rest of the afternoon ran smoothly.

I came home before Easter and learned that the traditional Edmonds Easter Egg Hunt was no longer an Easter Egg Hunt. The sign on the fence was lettered EGG HUNT.

The Edmonds Powers That Be determined it would be a Good Thing to delete the word Easter; it seems they intend to do away with labels that might discriminate. Or something. We don’t want to offend anybody, right? Well, I am offended now. And—imagine!—so are hundreds of other people. Probably thousands.

Has anyone ever checked on a child’s faith at the gate of an Easter Egg Hunt before he trotted onto the field to search for a golden egg? Of course not.

Whatever our belief systems, we are enriched by embracing others, welcoming them to share our traditions, as they would welcome us to share theirs.

I heard a mom interviewed on a Seattle TV program about this news-worthy change taking place in Edmonds. She indicated her family isn’t Christian but said her kids always take part in the annual Easter Egg Hunt.

Others simply asked, “What’s the fuss about? Why the change?”

Anyway, Edmonds had an “Egg Hunt” this March. It was on Easter weekend.

If this is an indication of what’s to come, I anticipate an increasing number of committee-beige events, re-labeled, sanitized, stripped of traditional significance.

I think people need to speak up if this bothers them.


Comments (2)
Posted by: Nathaniel R Brown | Apr 04, 2013 13:19

I believe we must ask one question: is the egg hunt a religious, or a secular event?  If it is sponsored by a church, then it is most certainly the former; if by the city, then it is secular.  The city of Edmonds is not a religious organization, and has no business organizing religious events.

I love Easter, and spent the day in church and then with friends from my church having an amazing Easter dinner after the services.  These were religion and church related, and thus EASTER events.

When Edmonds organizes a Seder or a Passover service, I may feel different; but I prefer if the secular powers stay out of religion.  This has nothing to do with something "that might discriminate. Or something. We don’t want to offend anybody, right?"  It has to do with the separation of religion and state, an American tradition that especially in a diverse society, I am glad we adhere to.

The "fuss" it seems to me, comes from those who are offended by the strict separation of religion and state, not from those who observe that separation.

Posted by: Jim Shelton | Apr 04, 2013 14:09

      Call it a decorated hard-shelled object hunt if you want, but an egg hunt held during the Easter "period" is still an Easter egg hunt.  Similarly, an evergreen tree erected and decorated with lights and/or baubles during the Christmas "period" is still a Christmas tree despite renaming it a Holiday tree.

      The real point is not about the name, it's not about inclusion, it's not about children having fun... it is about our government sponsoring an event that is a traditional event of a specific religion - regardless of how it's named.

If you wish to comment, please login.