One egg, two eggs, red eggs, blue eggs
It was over before it barely began.
The Lions Annual Easter Egg Hunt took place on sunny and warm day out at Lions Park.
Parents and children lined up a good half an hour before the event kicked off, and many shrugged off their jackets and tied them around their waists because it felt good to feel the sun on bare arms after the long winter.
It was the perfect metaphor for the Easter holiday, for the season of renewal, the return of the light, the beginning of spring.
The children, however, didn’t much care about spring or even the weather. They stood impatiently behind the thin string that divided them from the glory of 8,000 plastic eggs scattered over the ground. As they waited they mapped out strategies.
“I’m going straight and then over that way,” a little boy pointed to the right.
“Don’t let anyone see where you’re going,” a young girl whispered to her even younger sister.
The children clutched their Easter baskets and eyed the gleaming eggs. The anticipation was almost too much.
Then it began, and they all charged forward, the backs of their jackets and dresses flying in the air as they swooped down to claim their eggs.
It was noisy and fast-paced, the air filled with the exhilaration and the mad rush of joy (oh, the joy!) of spotting an egg no one else had seen.
Most of the eggs were filled with candy. But 20 in each age group contained prizes such as small toys and Easter gift baskets.
Eight lucky egg finders won a bicycle, donated by various local businesses.
According to Lions Club member Robin Eleazer, the older groups typically clear out the eggs in less than two minutes.
Yet, even after they were all gone many children still searched, unable to believe that it was all over, that the eggs had been claimed. They peered beneath picnic tables and under leaves, and Lions Clubs volunteers sometimes deposited eggs behind them so that when they turned around, there it was, an impossibility, an egg where there had been no egg, a type of Easter miracle, albeit a small one.
“Look, look,” a girl in a pink flowered dress yelled, holding up a yellow egg. “I found it, the last egg. The last egg, Mom.”
She dropped the egg in her basket without opening it up because really, it didn’t matter what was inside. It was the search, the amiable yet competitive spirit of the hunt, that made the annual Easter egg event so very special.