The hidden gifts of natural dyed eggs…

When I set out to color Easter eggs this morning with my four year old son, I was unaware of the lessons that the process may be teaching him. At first it was simply about creating memories and instilling a yearly tradition. You may recall that last year was our first attempt at making our own dyes and I was dying to try it again!

As I set the pots of dye on the stove to cook while my son asked me when the eggs would be different colors, it occurred to me that this experience was more than simply a seasonal project to occupy him and whittle away some of the day of a stay-at-home mom. It suddenly became so much more than the end result of what I hoped would be beautifully colored, festive eggs that he would enjoy having created. It occurred to me that it was a lengthy process especially for a little one.

I soon realized I was teaching my child patience. I also hoped I was teaching him that each part of the journey can be really fun and cool even when we so want to get to the end. I was not teaching him instant gratification and that made me smile because so much in our modern world has become just that. There is so much that allows us to have what we want when we want it and because of that there can be suffering and unhappiness when we are unable to do so. As a result we often miss the joy the journey has to offer because we are solely focused on the destination. My son isn’t aware that the process could have taken a fraction of the time if I had purchased a box of Paas color tablets instead of a head of cabbage, bunch of beets and bottle of turmeric. What he does know is that these beautiful colors came from the earth, he helped mummy with a big project, and we have some really gorgeous eggs for the Easter bunny to hide.

My hope is that in some way the seed has been planted in him that most things are about the process, the experience of seeing the beauty in each part of the journey and in turn, the end result becoming all the more rewarding.

This is the experience that unfolded for us:

We set out our ingredients and pulled up a chair.
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We chopped, measured, poured and stirred.
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We waited thirty minutes for each to cook.
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We strained and took the leap into using cheesecloth.
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We put eggs in jars, poured dye and learned about mixing colors.
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Of course we had to smell each one!
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And then we waited hours more.
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The reward all the more beautiful having taken the journey…together.
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This year we are grateful for finding the recipes we used from the dirtyGourmet.

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