In the midst of the activity, as the story is told again, the memory again returns. A Good Friday without attending a church, without anything recognizably “religious,” a Good Friday where only the story existed.
Good Friday 1968 was a fine day. A friend of my mother’s came and took my sister and I for a walk – there were only two of us at the time, our younger sister would be born later that month.
We walked a long way for children of seven and three, along our road, down over the very steep Stembridge Hill and on to Pitney woods. I think my sister may have had the assistance of a pushchair.
We gathered flowers in the woods. In my memory they are bluebells, but it would probably have been too early in the year; maybe pale yellow primroses, the sort of flowers that would grace an Easter garden.
I made a frieze when we got home – a series of white pieces of paper on which I drew the Good Friday story that we had been told by Miss Everitt at High Ham Church of England Primary School. Would a seven year old in the infant class of a two teacher school have known the word ‘frieze’? Probably not.
The only thing I remember from what I drew is my attempt at Pontius Pilate – a figure, drawn badly, of a man seated behind a bowl of water. For some strange reason, I coloured him bright yellow.
Yellow is the only colour I remember from those drawings. Maybe there has been filtering in the memory, yellow, white and gold being the colours of Easter celebration in more recent times.
Why that single afternoon remains so vivid in my memory, I am not sure. There must have been many other moments of more significance, many moments more exciting. Perhaps there is in it the security and contentment and spring like hope of childhood.
Were I to be seven again, I would wish to again walk to Pitney woods, wish to pick primroses.