The new boat, at Meadow Island
When Easter rolled around on Sunday, I wanted to write a post about Ishtar, and Isis, and how the Christian year mimics that of the pagans, but how that doesn't make the celebration of Easter, and the blood of the Lamb, the dying God become the risen Lord, any less legitimate. Now it's Wednesday, and my Lenten discipline is over, meaning that I can watch English premiere league soccer (Queens Park versus Swansea) and eat popcorn to my heart's content, without having to worry about posting links to global warming articles or quotes from Moby Dick before midnight. (Actually, it's Moby-Dick. There's a hyphen.)
I didn't do so badly this Lent, other than my failure, most days, to post before midnight. Do these Lenten disciplines make any difference? Make anything better? That's the larger question. If I had to answer it, I'd say Lent is about that cycle of death and rebirth, the eternal circle that all of us celebrate every year, whether we acknowledge it or not.
Because that's what the season of darkness is about, the season of darkness and now the season of light that begins. It's about death and rebirth, and how the green fuse drives the flower back up from the ground, and how we remind ourselves of that by taking things away from ourselves and then giving them back. My sister posted her Thailand pictures today, though, and I'm reminded how I hate the seasons, how I want it to be 95 degrees year-round. Everyone, at least in Maine, uses that as a selling point: we have all four seasons!
But what if I just want one? Endless, never-ending, unchanging summer?
So God dies and is reborn, and crops die and our reborn, and the sun goes away and comes back, and we celebrate that now, during spring, celebrate our own return from the darkness and depression. The passage of the seasons, the cycle of the church calendar, they remind me of the passage of time, how every day that changes is different, and new. Maybe that's why we want to drift from those reminders, into a world separated from the earth, and plants, and the cycle of growing things, how we want to dissolve into a digital world of pixels, of fictional equatorial sun, a place that only exists in the imagination, and, perhaps, at the actual equator. No matter how we separate ourselves from them, the seasons still pass.
Now Lent is over, and spring begins in truth. Nothing for it but to roll on, into the cruelest month.