Friday, April 06, 2007

Coming to the end of Lent

it always turns cold here during Holy Week. I don't remember an Easter where I didn't freeze in some frilly dress when I was a little girl. This temporary retreat from the 80 degree temperatures of March and April never seems to fail. There's part of me that feels like it's the earth itself joining in the mourning of powerful life that seems to have come to an end. Hie thee, spring. Your buds have no place here in a land of darkness where hope has been sealed in a tomb. Beauty, hope, truth and love have been defeated. There is no place for you here. If my little mental comparison were to hold true, Easter Sunday would always be warm and beautiful everywhere. Of course it's not, but the regular return of wintry weather here helps send my mind to where I feel it ought to be.

The last 38 days have been strange ones for me. Taking up a Lenten discipline or study has been my practice for some years now. It's a spiritual exercise that didn't come to me until I was in my thirties. I rarely enjoy it, but it has led me wonderful places. I rarely plan a sacrifice, but the first week of Lent, I usually seem to be scratching some elusive itch that just won't let go. It's often focused around some personal weakness that has grown to demand a conviction from me that I address it. This year, it was about change, specifically about both literal and metaphorical deaths.

I ran from it like someone had fired a starting pistol. I ran as if my life depended on it. I embraced all the things in life that often fall into the vice category. Few appetites were not indulged, yet, like the fabled appointment in Samhara, my machinations meant nothing. I simply couldn't escape death. I may have been avoiding the subject, yet it surfaced anyway, and my Sunday Scribblings entry from earlier this week felt to me like the final nail in the coffin.

Today, at 3:00 p.m., the Holy Hour, I joined hands with a friend, and together we prayed for life. We prayed that her mother would return from the coma that has claimed her for the last few weeks. We prayed for a return of energy, zest and vitality to us both. We prayed that we could experience resurrection on many levels. We prayed in thanks that with the Resurrection, there is always and will always be hope. We prayed in celebration of life, of its responsibilities, its joys, its heartaches, the amazing gift of this life that we have. We prayed to do more with our lives.

On Ash Wednesday, I wrote about my discomfort with death, with the Passion of Christ. The passion in his life is still more moving to me than that of his death. The passion within the resurrection surpasses both. I shirked my chosen Lenten responsibility, but God/dess did not turn the Divine Self from me. Death and life came to me as I needed them to, and I had to choose. Everything, conscious and not, reaffirmed to me that life is my choice, even though it means descending to death and being lifted out again. It's happened to me before, both literally and figuratively. Living is an act of love for me now. Life has chosen me, and I choose it in return.

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spirituality, Lent, life, death


Blogger Lisa :-] said...


April 07, 2007 12:29 AM  
Blogger alphawoman said...

Beatifully expressed. Death seems to be all around me also....along with the rebirth of Spring and a new path in life. Dichotomy of the extreme.

April 07, 2007 6:49 AM  
Blogger Gannet Girl said...

This is a lovely and insightful entry, Cynthia. You have shared a journey of great depth with us.

April 07, 2007 7:02 AM  

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