I have a hard time with the Fasting Moon. I know, I talk a good game, and I know all the reasons why the energies of deprivation and sacrifice match up with this time of the year. I re-read Waverly Fitzgerald’s Pagan Lent article every year, my copy of Earth Time, Moon Time is tattered through the Fasting Moon chapter and I even started reading Catholic family blogs this spring, but in my heart I just can’t seem to get into the spirit of Lent. I took to celebrating Advent like a duck to water, and most of the other seasonal celebrations also come naturally, but despite trying to celebrate Lent for over 5 years it has just never stuck. One blogger I read says she explains it to her family that they are saving up their alleluia’s for Easter. I don’t want to save anything up during this time of year… I want to celebrate the spring that is already here!
I think a big part of it is how mild our winters are in Portland and how early spring comes. It always seems like real signs of spring come right on the heels of February First. There’s hardly time to get over the trauma of January before spring is here for good. This year, in the weeks after February First I noticed the trees move from little buds right into leaves. I think spring is early this year but we already have daffodils. Lots of them! I almost think I missed crocuses all together. And the cherry blossoms. Oh, the cherry blossoms!
Portland is well known for its cherry blossoms. A main waterfront park is planted with cherry trees and most neighborhoods in town have tons of them. We don’t get much snow in the winter but in the spring the streets look like they’ve been snowed on with all the fallen petals. My parents have a cherry tree in their front yard that is pruned into a gorgeous umbrella shape and is the first thing you see when you pull up in their driveway.
I’ve decided to stop worrying about Lent. I’ll make an effort at Holy Week to honor the season of sacrifice. Until then, though, I’m putting flowers on my desk every day and singing hosannas to the heavens for the blossoms.