EASTER JOY RIDE
Last week, the coronavirus spirit serendipitously brought me in contact with the Drew family while driving through the Iles Park neighborhood in Springfield. Their lawn was covered with pastel Easter eggs and a sign that read "Happy Spring." I smiled and stopped my car for a quick picture. I noticed Mrs. Drew on the front lawn and we began a 20-foot socially distant discussion about their role of sharing Easter joy, sponsored by the Iles Park Neighborhood Association. For the past five years, they have traditionally hosted pictures with the neighborhood association families and the Easter bunny on the Saturday before Easter. This year, the bunny would only wave as the families drove by.
Our collective creativity sparked when we realized the potential joy available to the community if the Easter bunny could ride through the neighborhood in the back seat of my convertible. We air-bumped in solidarity and agreement to be partners in joy at high noon the day of the big-eared event.
On Saturday, another co-conspirator named Alice and I put on our bunny ears and drove the Easter bunny around Springfield. Folks of all ages honked and hollered and waved and took photos and just plain old smiled wide when they woke up to the sight of the Easter bunny driving around with the top down and radio on.
As we drove the streets smiling and giggling and waving, I reflected on the quote from Margaret Meade: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." I will always be grateful to the Drews' generosity and kindness in sharing their community spirit on Saturday, April 11, a day unlike any other day, where social distancing still created joyful solidarity.
We had a neighbor that bought an Easter bunny costume and had a willingness to wear it, so we brainstormed about how to share this with our neighborhood. We decided to invite neighbors to decorate their cars and have a parade up and down the main streets in Enos Park on Easter Sunday, with the bunny leading the procession.
We had six neighbors show up and they were pretty excited to see each other, even at a distance. One neighbor donated 100 eggs with small toys inside for the Easter bunny to give out and another family tossed more than 10 pounds of candy from their vehicle. We had many adults and their children come outside to see the parade. Everyone really seemed to enjoy it. We're glad it made so many people smile!