The village hall was full of children, all seated at tables with an egg of their own, and pots of various water colour paints to decorate it with. The Atkinson’s had just dropped their daughter off there with Mrs Bilk, a kindly old woman who was (with the help of some of the younger adults) running the village’s Easter celebrations.
“We’ll be back in time for lunch,” Tricia Atkinson said to her daughter, giving her a big hug and a kiss on the forehead. “And I look forwards to seeing how you paint your egg.”
“I’m gonna paint daffodils on it!” Georgina declared proudly, before giggling as her father hugged her from behind, easily lifting her up to set in the chair Mrs Bilk had lead her to.
“Daffodils are good, maybe a bunny or two, too?” Greg smiled, before looking up to Mrs Bilk. “Thanks again for organizing this.”
“Oh, it’s no trouble.” She smiled, carefully placing an egg in front of Georgina. “The old ways have to be passed on, after all. Speaking of…” Mrs Bilk crooked a slightly bushy eyebrow at the couple, a knowing smile on her face.
Tricia was able to keep the embarrassment from her cheeks. Greg… less so. Making their goodbyes, the couple quickly hurried out of the village hall, picking up the picnic basket they had left by the entrance.
“I can’t believe we’re trying this…” Tricia said quietly once they were away from the village hall, a battered and roughly paved country lane leading them away from the houses, post office and pub past to hedges and farmland.
“We said we’d try anything, Trish.” Greg said softly, looking up into the sky. “Besides, it’s a lovely sunny day to be outside in.”
“Sunny, yes, warm? Definitely not!” She shivered, tucking up close to him as they headed for a small copse of trees off the winding path. “Glad we brought some tea in our picnic basket.”
“We also have one of Mrs Bilk’s delightful herbal blends to drink.” Greg deadpanned, looking at the slightly older Thermos flask poking its head out from under the blanket covering their food.
Tricia pulled a face at that notion. “It tastes like boiled grass… it probably is boiled grass, to be fair.”
He chuckled at that as they walked, enjoying a bright, if cool, Easter Sunday. The late snows had finally ceased, allowing nature to get on with its renewal. Both of the Atkinson’s were thankful for the lack of stinging nettles that would otherwise have choked the path they took as they descended into the tight grouping of trees.
Carefully stepping around the smaller shrubs and avoiding trampling the undergrowth, they came to a small pond fed by a stream and set their basket down and the blanket out at that point. Far from the road that ran through the village, the only sounds were of the breeze in the trees, the soft chirping of birds and the gentle flow of water.
“We might as well get it over with…” Greg sighed as he pulled out the older Thermos, pouring the pungent smelling brew into the two mugs they took with them. Tricia had the foresight to pinch her nose as she started gulping down the brew. It only took one gulp for Greg to do the same, pulling a face as he finished off the mixture.
“Boiled grass with a hint of…” Greg pursed his lips. “Dusty moth?”
“Powdery butterfly?” Tricia grinned, taking their cups to wash out with a bottle of water, before pouring them some tea from their own flask. They had brought with them a light brunch, nibbling away on it as they chatted and drank under the canopy of branches, some just starting to bud with new leaves.
As they finished lunch and began to disrobe, they were thankful that the copse afforded them some protection from the worst of the spring breeze, cuddling up to each other for warmth (and other reasons) on the blanket, their little kisses becoming more serious ones as time passed.
“Greg,” Tricia whispered as his arms wrapped around her, “that rabbit is watching us…”
He turned to catch sight of the brownish-grey furred creature, ears pricked up and alert. Chuckling, he turned his attention back to his wife, a cheeky smile on his face. “Maybe the rabbit just wants to learn some techniques?” He suggested.
Tricia’s laugh echoed through the copse, only silenced when her husband’s lips met hers.
Several weeks later…
Mrs Bilk chuckled softly as she was hugged, having opened the door to find Mrs Atkinson coming forwards to hug her, her face jubilant.
“I’m pregnant!” She exclaimed, arms wrapped tightly around the elderly lady. “Thank you, thank you so much, Edith.”
“Congratulations, Tricia.” She smiled, leading her in to her small sitting room for a cup of tea. “But don’t thank me, dear.” She added, bringing a delicate bone china cup out for her guest. “Thank the Goddess.”
Author’s note: Happy Easter!