With each new Beginning we say at least one goodbye to things as they once were. There will be Easters in my future, but not many more opportunities like this one. I sip a drink, and from the vantage point of my camping chair I survey my surroundings. At my feet are blankets with middle-sized grandchildren playing near their parents and snapping photos. Sometimes they roll in the grass or play in the midget tree behind us. Other families are doing the same, and the kids make new friends. I scan the north lawn and view a sea of people sitting on white folding chairs; approximately nine thousand supposedly come here each night of the Easter season annually to view the pageant. While we wait for the depiction of Christ’s life to begin, a cool evening breeze wafts the scent of orange blossoms our way – a smell that triggers thoughts of newness and spring. I want to breathe in deeply and drink the aroma, but I know it will result in allergies equal to the magnificence of its smell. Above me tall palms sway gently against the dusk and I realize I won’t be seeing many of these in Alaska! They remind me of Palm Sunday and the reasons we are here.
On the south side of the lawn trees and other foliage frame the Mesa Arizona Latter-Day Saint Temple. The white tiled building becomes lit in contrast to the darkening sky and seems to shine in brilliance. I can’t look. When I see its splendor, my eyes well with tears. Of course, it’s dark enough that others might not see me cry in public. So I cry. The temple was my husband’s passion in life. It brought him closer to God, and he enjoyed serving there in his own manner. When I see this temple, in particular, I feel my husband next to me in a tangible way. It is overpowering to my senses. But, I cannot think of a better place to say goodbye and to remember my husband’s love for the Savior.
As the pageant begins, I think of my sister widow Mary and her special Son who came to Earth with a divine mission to save us from our sins. I cannot even imagine the heartache and pain she suffered as she watched Him give His life for us. Nor can I conceive of the joy she experienced on that first Easter with His glorious resurrection! From my camping chair of widowhood, I more poignantly recognize the Savior’s role in our lives. I know that Our Heavenly Father has a divine plan for each of His children, including me. It’s time to say goodbye to the palms, the blossoms and temples of this desert and follow Him elsewhere. It is my time of new birth and new beginnings!
© 2015 to present Patricia J. Angus
Mesa Arizona Easter Pageant Information: http://easterpageant.org/