On Good Friday I left the big city behind, and travelled to my parents’ place, passing through a fantastic icy world; each towering pine tree clad in a Christening gown; every branch covered in brilliant, wintry jewels. When I came through their door, the egg painting ritual was just beginning, and we sat quietly drawing flowers and stars, stripes, polka dots and Latin mottos, decorating and dipping in aqua, magenta, ochre and puce. My mother brings out the quilt she’s been patching together, and we scratch our heads over the geometric problem of turning diamonds into squares.
Our evening pilgrimage led us to the Church of Bach, and we listened at the feet of the Grand Philharmonic Choir who sang a powerful B Minor Mass with soloists (Carla Huhtanen, Allyson McHardy, Colin Ainsworth, James Westman) who conjured unearthly beauty.
Afterwards, at home, Paska as a bedtime snack, before the glowing bars of a real fire.
Holy Saturday was passed at the extraordinary “Timeless Café,” situated between Blackberry buildings, an industrial park, rolling farmland and a salvage company.
A huge piece of unlikely Waterloo memorabilia greets us – the dismantled Ali Baba Steak House sign, which once hung proudly over the downtown main street, now leans its ancient letters against a trailer, its former neon glow fading to glorious rust.
Other dismembered bits of Waterloo history lie strewn about here: bread baking pans from the former Weston bakery, burnt wooden beams from the fire-ravaged Waterloo farmer’s market, 19th-centry gothic church windows, outmoded factory machinery, ornate mantelpieces, footed copper bath tubs, all housed within a three-storied timber barn which offers these relics for us to take home, if willing to part with considerable coin.
The Café itself occupies a restored and repurposed century-old chicken house. Under the exposed wooden beams we sipped lovely hot corn soup and chatted about pianos of the past, and expectation for the coming week.
A short trip to Hawkesville’s Mill Ends store was in order. Surrounded by flamboyantly coloured fabrics, buttons, braided rope, lamp-shades, and thermal socks, we encounter old friends and ‘popping in’ turned into an epic visit, leaving with more than we came for.
The journey home required the longest road, through frozen forest, feathery firs and farmland with proud silos and flapping laundry.
Easter Day dawns bright and warm.
The ice is gone, and it seems the old wizard Winter will leave us to get on with normal things.