LORI ANN REINHALL
The Norwegian American
Dear readers and friends,
Sometimes at Easter, my thoughts drift back to a time in my life when I was dealing with some upheaval. I felt alone and, like for many during the time of the pandemic, the future seemed uncertain, and it was difficult for me to focus on the joy of the present.
Then a good friend came to me with a large artist’s sketchpad and a box of pastels. Instead of painting my anguish, she suggested that I visualize something colorful and happy. It was a rainy March day, but looking out the window, I could see the spring flowers popping up, and I took my inspiration from there.
I sketched some of the pretty flowers and colored them in, and when I was done, I felt better—a lot better. I don’t know if this was “art therapy” in the strictest sense of the word, but it worked for me.
This was my epiphany moment at a difficult time in life: there was something better coming, if only I could look for it and see it. I even liked my amateur drawing enough that I decided to have it framed. I took it to a local shop, and when I picked it up, the framer was smiling. “We’ve given your painting a name,” she said. “We’re calling it ‘Easter.’”
The name stuck, and it made a lot of sense to me. For what is Easter than a new chance at life? Whether you are religious or not, there is the promise of what lies ahead, symbolized by the renewal of spring, with the return of the sun and all the greenery and flowers. It’s a time of inspiration, a time of hope, a time of renewal.
So now, over 20 years later, “Easter” is still hanging up in my home, and it still reminds me of the new life that is waiting. It also reminds me of the power of creating something, be it simple amateur drawing like mine, a beautiful holiday meal for your family, coloring Easter eggs to put in a basket, or hiding chocolate ones for your kids and grandkids to find. You can create something, and you can create happiness—and you can do this every day, not just on Easter Sunday.
For us here at The Norwegian American, putting together this special Easter issue—like every issue—has been an act of creativity. There is the fun and gratification of taking a blank page and filling with content in the hope that someone else will enjoy it, too.
With this special edition, we are bringing you a bundle of Easter joy, from flowers to bunny rabbits and Easter eggs, Kvikk Lunsj to gourmet waffles, pianos by the fjord to floral arrangements from Bergen, crime fiction to a beloved vintage movie, along with the regular news and features that we offer. And because it is Easter, we decided to present it to you in 100% color, because—after all—it is Easter, a time when we celebrate the color and life with the coming of springtime.
Wishing you a happy Easter,
Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief
This article originally appeared in the March 26, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American.