I truly hope this finds all my readers well! 2022 didn’t get off to the start I’d hoped for – family bereavement, Covid finally caught up with me, and most depressingly, the war on Ukraine…. apologies for my silence.
This post is influenced by some of the above. My ‘Mami’ passed away almost 40 years ago. She had been a WWII refugee (some people in the village where I grew up certainly wouldn’t let her ever forget that), she lost her brother in the last days of that war, and I can’t begin to imagine what that time must have been like for her. She was the surviving child, and she and her parents had gone through some traumatic times. I am very lucky that I have been left some of her papers and books. This Easter story was made by her for her parents in 1946 – there is a lot to read between the lines but I love the overall hopefulness and caring kindness of it – and my mum’s illustrations. I hope you’ll like it, too (translation is mine).
For my dear parents for
the feast of Easter 1946 from
There once was a little primrose. It lived on a large meadow near an indefatigably merry brook. When it looked North, a mansion of a rich estate owner (hidden behind dark copper beeches and surrounded by magnificent flower grounds) appeared before its eyes. Towards the South, there sprawled a deciduous forest which, every evening, spoke to our little primrose of its adventures.
The meadow expanded towards East and West – the home of our little primrose. Such a wonderful landscape! Even in Winter, when other areas looked barren and dismal, this scenery attracted human visitors. On Christmas Eve, the countryside was shrouded in a white blanket, the roofs had pulled their caps over their ears. Everything was in deep slumber. The little primrose also slept underneath the thick and soft duvet of snow and dreamed of Spring, its best days. The brook gently murmured its lullaby, and the primrose was fast asleep. One day it was woken by something. It had to sneeze terribly loud and felt rather common. It looked around shyly, hoping nobody had noticed. A tiny ray of sunlight laughed cheekily into its eyes.
“Right!”, thought the little primrose ” so that’s the guy who woke me from my lovely sleep and gave my nose such a nasty tickle. What does he even want? It’s much too early to wake my tiny blossoms!” “Ugh!”, it scolded, ” he really is very naughty! And the world looks quite appalling! The streets are so grey and dirty, the trees look at me so horribly sad! Well, little Klaus and Annmarie don’t play in the meadow yet. This peace-breaker must have miscalculated. I can’t calm down! What am I to do so all alone?” Gradually, under a gentle spring breeze she fell back into a slumber. After some time – about 10 days – the primrose awoke from its light sleep. It rubbed its eyes in wonder and thought to itself: ” The world looks so different today. Everything sparkles and smiles at me. Now it seems I have overslept and my blossoms aren’t allowed to see the light. Oh, if only
I had stayed awake when the little ray of sunshine woke me! ” The little primrose was in deep despair and tears started to drop, when it heard the beeches say:” Look at us! Look at us! We haven’t put our green dresses on yet – our leaves are still asleep. You woke up at just the right time for you! Little primrose, your most wonderful time starts now, the time of blossoming. Can you spot the little daisies that (with their short necks) look curiously at the world? They have only recently awoken from their sleep. Yes, life begins! Your home will be beautiful again, dear primrose! Look, your brothers and sisters are only just wiping the last grains which the sandman had brought from their eyes.” The little primrose opened its eyes and looked at the world with a jubilant heart. “Now, what was that? Oh, a bunny hopped across the meadow. That must be the Easter bunny! He’s toiling with the load of eggs to surprise all well-behaved children. Hello, Klaus and Annemarie, are you gathering flowers for your mother?”
Yes, the children carried a small basket full of wood anemones, liverwort, cowslip and violets.
Klaus spotted the little primrose. His hands were already reaching for the flower, to pluck it. Annemarie suggested they should dig it out instead, put it into a pot, and give it to their mother as an Easter present.
And this is how the little primrose came to us, to delight you, dear mother and dear father.