The RevGals Mother Laura writes: Ready or not, Lent is upon us!
1. Did you celebrate Mardi Gras and/or Ash Wednesday this week? How?
The LightFamily celebrated a small and quiet Mardi Gras with a dinner of red beans and rice and kings cake for dessert. The kings cake came with beads which we all wore during a discussion of Mardi Gras and then Lent.
2. What was your most memorable Mardi Gras/Ash Wednesday/Lent?
1983 … the prior summer I had worked a “real” job and earned enough money to have a tax return. This was enough to pay for a trip to New Orleans during my February break … which happily coincided with Mardi Gras!! I also had a friend who was going to Tulane who I had met during my semester at American University, so I had a place to stay. That was one wild few days and I absolutely loved New Orleans.
I got off the plane, took a cab into the middle of the city where I was meeting my friend (Roger – who was/is gay) and the middle of a parade and began catching beads. Somehow in the middle of the crazy drunkeness we managed to meet up. This was in the days before cell phones and all.
Tuesday morning, the morning of, a group of us white folk somehow ended up in the middle of an African American neighborhood during the Zulu parade. Potentially, this was not a safe place for us. But we were naive and unaware of our surroundings until much later. So we just hoisted the kids onto our shoulders so they could catch the beads, and did our best to fit in … so we did.
I loved the city for the 4 days after Mardi Gras as well and had a ball there. Getting on the plane to go back to college was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. I wanted to throw everything away and stay there. But I did the responsible thing ….
3. Did you/your church/your family celebrate Lent as a child? If not, when and how did you discover it?
My family is agnostic, so no we did not celebrate Lent as a child. My exposure as a child to Lent was in books and my friends who were Catholic would come to school with ashes on their foreheads … and couldn’t really explain it. Even in highschool. We would all joke about giving up lima beans for Lent, or something equally horrid … like liver. I don’t remember discovering it, because from there my knowledge of it grew until the present day. There was no discovery, more of an evolution of awareness.
4. Are you more in the give-up camp, or the take-on camp, or somewhere in between?
I’m somewhere in between and do a little of both.
5. How do you plan to keep Lent this year?
In terms of giving up … I’ve given up soda. I need to do this for health reasons. It’s just not good to drink soda. In terms of taking on … I’m taking on the Jesus Creed Challenge. I was inspired by the Virtual Abbess and some graphics I remembered from my CLB and developed a journal for the challenge. I’ve only made 5 days of it yet, but if anyone would like to use it, you can download it here. And I’ve committed to decluttering for 15 minutes a day.