It is that time of the year again when the Ark team is busy beavering away planning the annual Easter trail. This year we have 52 fabulous llamas that are in need of decorating by various groups across Bristol and South Gloucestershire. The trail has been going for 8 years now and no-one would have ever envisaged that it would have grown to the numbers that it now has. This is such a joyous event in which to be involved and the success and popularity of the trails is a combination of the wonderfully imaginative designs and care taken by the children and young people decorating the animals and the sheer enthusiasm of the retailers who all look forward to receiving their visiting animal.
This year’s trail theme is Resilience and Determination’. We felt that this was relevant topic to explore as we are living in a period of uncertainty and change, and this can leave us all feeling discombobulated at times. All the groups were asked to consider the things in their life which they may have found difficult and how they have overcome them. They also remembered how it felt when they achieved something that they first thought was impossible or just too hard. Groups also considered how they could help other people who were facing difficulties. Could we all make someone else’s life a little easier by being a good friend, or showing some kindness? The llamas are decorated with all these thoughts and feelings in mind!
Of course, at Easter we remember the journey that Jesus took to his death and for his friends and followers it must have felt that all hope was gone. Yet Easter is a story, ultimately of hope. New beginnings often come out of painful endings and we are reminded of this on Easter Day when the tomb was found empty and Jesus had risen just as he had prophesised. “Good Friday is a painful reality, that the corner from the shadows of Good Friday is the breaking dawn of Easter”. We must all remember that beyond the difficult times we face there is a real possibility of growth and enrichment.
“The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” (Thomas Edison)