I walked to work yesterday, and thus had the opportunity to experience the truly perfect spring day. Then we closed early, so #2 daughter and I got to have a proper dinner before the Tenebrae service, and even to spend some time working on the garden.
#2 son helped, too, but he complained the whole time, so it was a lesser help. There were worms in the dirt, which he didn’t care for, and he doesn’t like planting things close together, and he thought we were going to plant vegetables, which he prefers to flowers… Very teenager-like.
One year my husband did plant vegetables in the front garden. There was the fine cloud of phlox, the pink azaleas, the hostas with their flowering spikes, the tall crepe myrtles. He planted Thai basil along the paths, so people could enjoy the scent when they brushed against it. And then there were monstrous tomato plants.
Europeans grew tomatoes as ornamentals for years before they considered eating the fruits, of course, but there was something odd in it to me. And that was the case even though I routinely plant flowers in the vegetable garden. It is like the old story of the boy who asked if he could pray while smoking. Of course he could; didn’t the Apostle Paul say to pray unceasingly? But could he smoke while he prayed? Equally certainly, he could not.
We haven’t encouraged my husband to choose the plants for the front garden since. Instead, we checked to see what was already blooming or looking as though it planned to — columbines, pinks, azaleas, and that’s about it — and decided to put in a flat of impatiens to keep these guys company.
#2 daughter raked out the leaves from among the perennials and #2 son and I planted.
Then we got ready for the Tenebrae service. This is the service for Good Friday, a lessons-and-carols thing that ends in darkness and silence. This is to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus, so it is supposed to be solemn and dramatic. We sang Benjamin Harlan’s cantata “Behold the Darkness,” not difficult, but satisfying, with some very beautiful bits. It was good to hear plenty of sniffling from the congregation.
#2 daughter sang soprano, and they were very glad to have her. “She’s gone over to the dark side!” the basses were crowing as she moved to the soprano section. The soprani were outnumbered last night, so they needed her. I don’t think they minded being called “the dark side.” This is the same choir in which we were told not merely to were our blacks for the Tenebrae, but “Black, no bling.” And the only choir in which I have ever heard anyone say, “Hot damn!”
It was being said in the choir last night that this morning’s pancake breakfast would feature deep-fried bacon. The Easter Saturday breakfast is cooked by the men, and is a major male-bonding experience. This sort of thing apparently leads to deep-fried bacon. They said it was delicious, but I may pass on that. I have a long list of stuff to do today. Deep-fried bacon would probably cause a person to need a nap.