So, Ash Wednesday came and it went. In school we had the 'Whole School Retreat'. I have written about that before. It was beautiful, and at times moved me. I am often amazed at the strength of faith students have. There were touching moments of us together as a school community; I will never forget distributing the ashes. I remember the experience from two years ago. There is nothing more powerful than first receiving the ashes, 'Repent and believe the Good News of the Gospel', and then distributing them to the school community. This year there were several moments I will remember. The line of stylish Year 8 students, one after the other, grinning and sporting excellent side slung fringes I needed to deftly flick out of the way; the faithful Sikh student who approached pushing his turban a little higher so as I could reach his forehead; the cradle Catholics who looked doubtful; the Muslim students who adjusted their veils; the embarrassed, the faithful, the grinning, the meek. And, to each and every one, the words, 'Repent and believe the Good News of the Gospel' or 'Remember thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return'.
After all that 'turning back', all that refocusing and readjusting, what should one do with one's evening? That was my question. Tempting as though it was, wine was out of the question. So, I came home and walked about my tiny flat. The spider plants were bursting at the seems to be let out. I headed to B and Q, they would be open after 5.30pm, surely? And, surely they were. I bought huge wooden pots, homes for life. Then, when I returned, I gently rehoused my little pets. They were given to me, of course. Gemma gave her spider plant babies to me, she had received hers from Emma, a friend of ours. Perhaps now my spider plants are happy in their new home, they will have little ones I can give to others.
Now my Spider plants are happy, I love them more than ever. They are going to grow and grow, and I will watch them do it. I am looking forward to the day they have many offspring, and hang out of their pot looking fruitful and abundant.
For me, this Spider plant business was a good start to Lent. I am not very good at giving things up. I am quite good at taking things up though. Looking after my house plants might be a start, taking care of those around me might follow, praying for others follows that, and doing good comes as a result. If my Lent grows as fast as my Spider plants, I'll be happy.