Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Southern Ash Wednesday...

the air is cooler
the light has a softness

autumn has come
and today
my forehead is blessed
with a smudge of ashes

there is a mood of gentle dying
in my small garden

in harmony with
a Lenten promise to live a time
of simplicity

the spider
silently weaves a net
to catch my Autumn dreams..

Today I walked to the St Paul's Cathedral in my city and there I attended the Ash Wednesday Mass.
I'd been to a 9am meeting in town and thought to walk over the bridge to Hamilton East on this perfect Autumn day and go to mass in the Catholic Cathedral there at midday.
  Passing by St Paul's and having time, I felt drawn to walk the steps up the hill
and spend a few minutes in this lovely very English looking church.
What I found was their Ash Wednesday Mass had just begun
and it seemed just right to stay and receive the ashes there.
Somehow being there and thinking of dust and ashes was a fitting way to connect with that other cathedral
... in Christchurch..

Lent is , in Autumn in this southern place, is a mellow time of thoughtfulness
and letting things die back for a while,
so the seeds of creativity can nurture something new and wonderful  during  the fallow time of winter.

In Christchurch there is much talk of the rebuilding of the city that one day will take place.
May the God of Creativity work wonders of inspiration in this time of fallowness and pain
and inspire the architects and leaders to re-build a city of  great beauty for its people.

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  1. We are still on Tuesday here, Joan, but will enter the Lenten season in a few hours. I am so used to Lent occurring in late winter through early spring. It will be so interesting for me to experience it in the southern hemisphere through you all there.

    I love the idea of you walking to the cathedral to receive your ashes and attend Mass. There is something humbling to me to make that walk on foot.

    Thank you.

  2. "gentle dying" - how beautifully that expresses the changing of the seasons, Joan.

  3. I love the peace you convey today
    the photo of the spider web
    the ashes on your forehead
    we enter 40 days
    may yours be blessed with quiet
    yet hopeful joys
    for it is not the end
    only the beginning
    blessings Joan

  4. Joan, your pictures illustrate your text so beautifully. There is such a tranquility over these photos and the fine text.
    How human beings are brave when something happens like the terrible catastrophe in Christchurch. They are now ready to go on. It is so moving.

  5. This is such a lovely post (and so you!) I am giving up chocolate for Lent. No, really, I am. I'm just starting a day late...:)

  6. I love this evocation of 'gentle dying', and the feeling of turning inward, welcoming in the season. Yes, we are in the same mood.

  7. Your writing is beautiful, I loved the little rhyme of the spider called Pungawerewere, what a great name!

    It's a long long time since I had the ashes on my forehead I'd completely forgotten about it, thank you so much for the memory.