“The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.” – Mark Twain

It’s Palm Sunday and also the First of April – April Fool’s Day. I suppose that must have happened many times before, but it’s the first time I’ve been aware of them falling together. It opens up a lot of potential for comment, but I will be strong and resist the temptation to start philosophising on that coincidence.

Instead, I’ll concentrate on the fact that it’s also a glorious sunny day, clear blue sky, tulips out, the azalea buds about to burst open, and birds singing. Mom’s garden is looking pretty again and April is living up to all the clichés – we shall probably have some showers later, and those in the areas declared “drought” will be very happy. Or maybe it won’t, and the Weather Clerk is making April Fools of those doing a rain dance.


Palm Sunday.
As children, we always went to Church that Sunday even if we weren’t regular churchgoers, the chief incentive being a palm cross. These were handed out as a symbol of Jesus entering Jerusalem and being greeted by people waving palms. To us children, the palm cross answered that basic infantile need to collect things. It was a cleverly contrived piece of craft. It was also something for nothing.

Some of us went to Sunday school faithfully every week simply in order to collect the religious pictures handed out for regular attendance, with little understanding of what Christianity was really about.  We liked hearing the stories, acting them out, drawing pictures, singing the familiar songs and hymns, and being rewarded for our ability to quote Bible verses learned by rote, whether they made sense to us or not. There wasn’t much else to do on a Sunday afternoon in those days. Nevertheless, in my case at least, those seeds planted in what seemed pretty infertile soil did finally begin to germinate, and come to fruition decades later.

Although this palm cross has hung in my mother’s house for years, I have only just asked her about it. It turns out that she was given it at Church one Palm Sunday when my father was in hospital, and she took it to him at her next visit. We have tried to identify the year, but can only pin it down to sometime between 1980 and 1986. But in fact the year is irrelevant. It isn’t a talisman, icon or religious relic, either. It’s the associations that matter.

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9 thoughts on ““The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.” – Mark Twain

  1. I love this post on several levels. The photos are beautiful and encouraging. I appreciate your not philosophizing on the April Fools Day/Palm Sunday connection. You might blow my cover. 🙂 I like your memories of Palm Sunday church and Sunday School. We never got palm crosses but I remember the palm fronds we waved about. I hope your cross/father associations are sweet.

    I can’t believe I’m at home, playing hooky, this Palm Sunday. This is Easter Cantata Sunday and I just didn’t think I could sit still that long. I do better in my Spanish service where I must concentrate every minute to avoid putting the wrong thing on the screen at the wrong time. (Can you believe we rely on screens and technology in church these days–and that they have me doing it!?)

    Hope you’re having a good day.
    Pat

    • Thank you, Pat. Yes, the associations are indeed sweet and positive. And I have to say that I appreciate the beamer in church nowadays, as there are never enough LARGE PRINT song books to go round! You are a clever lady to be in charge of that task, btw.

  2. Datewise Grandad wasn’t in hospital between 1981-83, so I think it was later, maybe ulcer – ’85/’86?
    Such pretty garden pictures – isn’t it nice to have spring and sunshine?! We have cherry, hawthorn and damson blossom, too…

  3. Pingback: Summertime Is Officially Here … | catterel

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