Ukrainian Easter Will Be Different This Year
Throughout my life, I've attended church with Orthodox Christians of Ukrainian, Russian, Lebanese, Ugandan, Coptic Egyptian, Albanian and Syrian traditions, to name a few.
When there's only one church in the area, Orthodox faithful of different cultures assemble usually at the local Greek Orthodox church. The faith is the same for all, just the language changes.
Although there's a small Ukrainian community in Fall River, good luck trying to find someone who does "pysanka Ukrainian Easter eggs," colorful and kaleidoscopic in design, decorated with traditional designs using a wax-resistant method.
The art of creating Ukrainian pysanka dates back to ancient times, that were traditionally made by the women in the village. Locally, the late, wonderful Westport artist, beekeeper, and town hall organizer Lucy Tabit was my go-to source for pysanka. Tabit was known as the "Renaissance Woman" because there wasn't a thing she couldn't do masterfully.
Tabit used the traditional two-hole method by making a small hole in either end of the egg, blowing air into one hole, and the egg contents come out the other end.
What's fascinating is the designs are not painted on, but instead are written with beeswax. She would draw geometric lines on the egg with a pencil so light that they were undetectable. Tabit jokingly warned me that girls should never give their boyfriend's pysanka that have no design on the top and the bottom of the egg, because the baldness on either end signifies that the boyfriend will soon lose his hair. May Tabit's memory be eternal.
This year, Easter won't be the same for the millions of displaced Ukrainians, because it will be impossible to observe the holiday as the country's citizens flee or are under attack.
As a way to keep their struggles in my thoughts and prayers, I'll be ordering a dozen or so of wooden pysanka eggs online and display them in our home for the Easter holiday. The Ukrainians believe the eggs symbolize life and rebirth. So be it.