I think the season of Lent is a little bit like Mulberry. There is a sense in which both death and rebirth coexist. We begin the season still in the cold and dark of winter with a substantive reminder of our mortality: ashes on our foreheads in the shape of a cross and the solemn words, “Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” It is a time of austerity, simplicity, and surrender to God. Always looming at its conclusion is the passion of our Lord. But the word Lent originates with Anglo-Saxon and Germanic words referring to longer days; in other words, “spring”. As we move through Lent, the days lengthen and the earth begins to warm. New growth appears. Finally, the tomb empties. Death does not, in fact, have the last word. The resurrection of Jesus ushers in the season of rebirth.
May we all be able to live into the ambiguity that this season brings: solemnity tempered with joy, intentionality interrupted by surprise, death to an old way of life for the sake of transformation and resurrection. In the words of the show’s theme song, “These are Mulberry days.”