Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The Easter Bunny Is an Essential Worker -- by Jane Kelley

In these trying times, I have been struggling with not struggling. While medical professionals, delivery people, warehouse workers, and grocery store clerks risk their lives for us, much of my life has not altered. I have always worked from home. It really doesn't feel like a sacrifice for me to stay inside. But I didn't know what else I could do to help people.

Then yesterday I learned that the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern has declared the Easter Bunny to be an essential worker.

Here are two hard-working rabbits. They've got a lot of eggs to deliver. And a lot of kids to visit. I'm glad to see them in sensible shoes and with backpack baskets. You can carry a lot more that way. But is what they're carrying really essential? I love candy and I eat a lot of eggs, but let's be real. Jelly beans????  (Apologies to those of you who really do like them. I suspect my father only pretended to enjoy the purple ones because someone had to eat them.)

Those rabbits are delivering a lot more than sugar. Rabbits and eggs are symbols. New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere. There, Easter isn't a harbinger of actual spring. But it is a celebration of what spring means. New life. New growth. Something sweet. Something kind of absurd and whimsical. Hidden surprises that can be found. In other words, something fictional. 

Yes, the Easter Bunny and I are essential workers. I'm going to keep bringing together unusual elements (like rabbits bringing eggs) and find a way to make them into a story. Hopefully those stories will make people laugh and take a break from grim realities and encourage people to care about each other and inspire readers to tell stories of their own.

I will never actually save someone's life. But I do have an important contribution to make. We all do. 

3 comments:

  1. I also enjoyed that Ardern indicated that the Easter Bunny might not make it to all homes in a timely fashion. My mother always got our Easter candy on Monday, when it was on clearance, and told us it was because we were at the end of the alphabet!

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  2. Love this Jane. We need these symbols of "regular and Normal" life to remind us of why we are doing what we need to do. May all your jelly beans be in your favorite color (mine are yellow and orange).

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