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egg madonna

Tomorrow is Ukrainian Orthodox Easter. Khrystos voskres! is the greeting you give your friends and relatives. (Christ is risen!) It’s like a little ritual. Then the gentlemen kiss you three times on the cheek. A lovely spring greeting.

The photo is of a madonna created by artist Oksana Mas. It is created entirely of “pysanki” the Ukrainian traditional Easter Egg. It is installed at St. Sophia’s in Kyiv, Ukraine. She has done many installations, and I find them fascinating.

When I was a girl we’d color eggs with vinegar and food coloring, or those little kits you got from the grocery store. My grandmother would tell me of the beautiful eggs from the old days, but I didn’t see them until I was older and met someone who made them. He made one for me and I carried it with me for a long time. I had heard there was a tradition that the pysanki carried the luck of the house. A piece of fragile luck, indeed. My “luck” broke during a move to South Dakota.

Since moving to this part of the world I see elaborate eggs, everywhere. I even have a collection of them. Some are dyed, some painted, some are fragile eggs, some are wooden, they are wrapped in ribbon and wire. Each a little piece of beauty. I have found them in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Romania. I’m told you can tell the region it’s from by the design, but I am not that much of an expert, but they do speak to me of the need to create, to express yourself, and bring beauty into your home. Even if that art, that beauty is created on a humble egg.

Here’s wishing you beauty and peace on this lovely Easter Saturday.

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