Easter brings feelings of renewal

A sense of renewal goes hand in hand with Easter, it seems.

Even though we're already hitting some high mercury marks during the day, the cool, almost crisp mornings are a pleasant respite, with one today that will be experienced by hundreds of thousands of Christians who gather for sunrise services commemorating the resurrection of Christ.

There's something inspiring about seeing the sun peek over the horizon, giving a feeling of rebirth to a landscape that has gotten greener rapidly -- and dotted with a rainbow of color from flowering plants -- over the past few weeks.

For Christians, this is the holiest day of the year, one that has not become nearly as secularized as Christmas, though it is long-standing policy for many to break out new clothes for the occasion.

That doesn't mean that there haven't been some similar incursions. Many a child woke up this morning to a basket filled with candy and toys, presumably left by an elusive cottontailed visitor. Still, the solemnity and religious meaning of the day has been largely retained.

It also is a family time, a time when family and friends gather together to eat and enjoy each other's company. Youngsters know that sometime after the noontime meal, they'll get an opportunity to look for brightly colored eggs that adults enjoy hiding just as much as the children enjoy finding them.

Soon, life will hit a quicker pace as schools let out and vacation time hits. There will be travel -- assuming, of course, as the gas pump prices cooperate -- and schedules will be busier and busier as the days get warmer and longer.

It's good to have a day to pause and reflect on life and where it's headed.