Lenten Notes

How on earth can I ever put anything useful up here if all I’m doing is updating occasionally? My poor, neglected blog-friends! How is your Lent going?

Mine is delightful, though I’ve gotten distracted these past few days by a visit from my sweet parents. They’re here to celebrate my son’s upcoming birthday, to put together puzzles with the kids in front of the fire, to hold my daughter’s baby rabbits, and to just be among those they love.

I love these slow, winter visits. They make me feel so homey and connected – like a tiny, multi-generational village exists in my woodland. It’s rich and natural and I love seeing how the tendrils of these relationships take root in the hearts and imaginations of my kids.

The Fast is going well this year – it’s at once more indulgent and more strict than last year. Indulgent, because I’ve got a big jar of pistachios and the stores are full of avocados – more strict because we’ve taken away most of the wine days and only rarely have it on Sundays.

The slow, early spring has been wonderful for our maple sapping this year. It’s becoming a long season with plenty of sap. It may be our best year ever! I’ve been hiking from tree to tree with each day to collect. Soon all the empty jars that aren’t full of pickled eggs will be full of maple syrup!

The early spring weather has our chickens jumping into their spring laying frenzy early as well. Usually, the glut of eggs doesn’t start until mid-Lent, but this year it began in mid-February. I’m pickling some, giving some away, and as soon as I find ‘pickling lime’ I’m going to test out an old recipe for “glass eggs“.

I like to do my spring cleaning during Lent as well. I’m slowly working my way through all the little cleaning tasks I’d planned to start in January but never did. While I’m cleaning, I’m getting rid of things that don’t belong anymore, refreshing our homeschool books, and bringing in yet more books.

(Our priest is also cleaning out his rectory and I scored a complete set of the Ante-Nicene Fathers – 10 books in all! Of course, I don’t have the space for them..but I couldn’t resist. Right now they’re all piled on the floor, under two sketchbooks and a cookbook. )

Right now I’m reading The Intellectual Life by Fr. Antonin Sertillanges (which I love), With All Her Mind, edited by Rachel Bulman (which I do not love), and the collected letters of my beloved Rilke (which I have always loved, even before I saw them).

What are you reading, neglected friends? What is your Lent full of this year?

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