It’s late February. My principal once shared with me an observation from his wife. “It’s February,” she said. “You always want to quit in February.” Yep. Me too.
The days are cold, short, and gloomy. There are tons of deadlines–things that burst with promise for spring (like tax returns)–but that only cause stress and schedule crunching now. Students and teachers alike are cranky and feel overburdened. It’s senior thesis season…I don’t even know how to begin to explain that. It’s a presidential election year and the whole world has gone completely insane. Running outside is difficult and often impossible, so I run inside on the treadmill and feel hot and stifled–my current life situation in miniature. I long to feel the wind in my hair and get fresh air into my lungs. I’m so busy that my pleasure reading suffers–pleasure reading waters my soul. There’s the sometime hope and promise of a snow day punctuated by terror on icy southern roadways AND it’s basketball season and I’m a Tar Heel fan. Enough said.
On top of all of this, it is Lent. Somehow, in the midst of all the craziness, I am supposed to focus my heart and mind on Jesus, on His sacrifice, on His passion. I was musing about this as I walked the dog this morning. I was feeling sorry for myself with my crazy life and the way it seems to mess up the opportunity to focus during Lent each year, and then it hit me: my crazy life and the brokenness around me is exactly what I need. If there wasn’t brokenness, there wouldn’t have been a need for Jesus. As I struggle through February and the awkward waiting room that is March, I can be reminded that this is exactly why Jesus came. It’s Lent, but Easter is coming.
From those most holy waters, born anew
I came, like trees by change of calendars
Renewed with new-sprung foliage through and through,
Pure and prepared to leap up to the stars.
Purgatorio XXXIII, 142-145