“Hmmm,” I said as I ducked under the coffee table finding nothing hidden there.
I zipped over to the couch and checked the cushions.
This was back before plastic took the place of real eggs for hunting, and I didn’t carry a frilly basket. I clutched the carton in my hand as I searched my grandma’s living room for the last one. She and I had spent the previous Saturday afternoon engaged at the dining room table over cups of fizzy colors and the pungent smell of vinegar. With newspaper spread out to catch spills, we carefully balanced the white ovals on large spoons to submerge them gently into various shades. Every once in awhile, I would lose my hold on the utensil and with a splash, it would jump into the solution all on its own cracking its fragile outer shell in the process. This always brought about a sharp gasp not only for the dunker but the one who was subjected to the liquid dye flying across the table.
A quick wipe up with a paper towel and a little laughter was all that was needed to remedy the mishap. The tricky part of unearthing the egg from its bath was not an easy feat either without knocking over everything. Eventually, we got all of them into the drying tray that was provided with the egg dying kit. Then, it was not complete without affixing various stickers to compliment the overall look. We got fancy with a white crayon and personalized some of them before the colorization because it was so magical to see my name or someone else’s appear out of no where on an edible object.
So on this particular Easter Sunday, with fingers still stained from my hard work the day before, I knew what every single egg looked like prior to them being scattered about her house. And the one that was missing was a deep shade of purple. Seeing that I was struggling and not wanting to get behind on her gigantic meal she was preparing, she tried to be of help.
“Chrissy, let’s play hot and cold.”
“Ok,” I said not really understanding what she meant.
“You are cold right now.”
“You are cold right now.”
Seeing that I didn’t comprehend what she was saying she explained,
“When I say you are cold, that means you are not close to what you are looking for. When I say you are hot, then you are right by it.”
“You are cold.”
My brain processed what she said, so I moved one foot out to the left and the other to the right like I was going to do the splits.
“You didn’t move. You are still cold.”
I took my chances and marched far left.
“You are still cold. Now you are very cold.”
So, I decided to swing very far to the right and ran all the way into the next room.
“You are still cold.”
So, I ran toward her but past her almost to where I had began.
“No, you are back to where you started. I can see it from where I am,” she said.
I scanned the walls, the ceiling and all the furniture. I thought I saw something peeking out from behind the rocking chair. I came up empty handed.
“I can still see it,” she said.
This went on for another ten minutes or so, and I was starting to get frustrated and sweaty from sprinting in circles.
“Just look around,” she said making her eyes really, really big. I opened my eyes as wide as I could and cranked my head to side to side.
“Chrissy, I know where it is,” she said again almost in a whisper. I saw her standing by the clock that hung in her living room.
“I know,” I said.
She changed her voice and made it lower and moved her eyes to the right and left and said,
“I know where it is.”
I laughed at her facial expression and her old man voice.
I ran over to the bookshelf. Nothing. My grandpa’s ashtray. Nope.
I looked at her again. She was standing with her back straight up against the wall right by the clock, and she had her eyes shut. As I kept looking at her, I saw something purple next to her head. I ran over to her to get a closer look. On the clock ledge was the absent egg.
Her eyes flew open and she said with great joy,
“You found it! It was right by me all along. You just had to look at me.”
I was never so happy to see that last one. I thought we were going to miss out on her ham and mashed potatoes.
When she died, I got her clock which now hangs in my kitchen. I placed a purple plastic egg that remains there to remind me of an important message that she taught me. The thing that you are searching for may be right in front of you and the only thing that is stopping you from finding it is you.
I should have focused my eyes on the person who knew its location. Likewise, we would be smart to turn our attention to the One who placed us here with the gift of life. When we seek answers, and we all do, if we would only stop our frantic seeking for the solution and go to the source of all wisdom and knowledge to save us time and worry. And, just like Grandma Hazel, heaven is trying to help you find what you are looking for.
(Grandma Hazel’s clock)