It’s Lent, a season whose deprecations I once savored with bread and water fasting by day and insomniac prostrations by night.
I’ve long since washed away the ritual cross of ashes I allowed strange men in robes to smear on my forehead, branding me a sinner. Every single day is the Fat Tuesday-Mardi Gras pancake supper that precedes Lent, joined with the vigil of baptismal singing that crowns Lent’s end.
Gone are Lent’s intervening weeks of morbid introspection, of inhaling false hope from a pendulous thurible of incense. The salvation of charity and alms abides; it does not mandate damage to one’s knees at an altar to exist.
The candles are lit, and won’t go out; Easter lilies bloom forever.
More pancakes, anyone?