This time last year I was one of several religious sisters in this country interviewed by different radio stations for Pancake Day. Sitting in my office, talking cheerily with the presenter, I found myself, in only a few minutes, in a discussion spanning pancake preferences, convent kitchens, community life and Lent.
Listening to the recording of the interview I can hear myself explaining how, for me, Lent is a springtime with God, a time for new life and growth. It's an imagery anyone in the northern hemisphere will easily understand: already the days are getting longer, trees and plants beginning to put out tentative buds; over the next six weeks we will enjoy ever-increasing light and an all-round blossoming, greening and sense of promise and new beginnings. And in the midst of that we can live our own new life and renewal with God!
In the interview I also talk about Lent in terms of spring cleaning and de-cluttering; about clearing space for God and becoming freer for God. And really, it's not such a bad analogy: the untidy, cluttered state of my desk, drawers and shelves are only too indicative of the cluttered-ness within me. Hopefully the weeks ahead will see some proper ordering and de-cluttering, of shelves as well as soul.
The recording is here, saved onto YouTube. It isn't a video, though, just an audio, so you don't need to sit and look at my face for seven minutes - you can just have me in the background while you sort out your sock drawer or fry yourself some pancakes...!
Happy Lent, everyone - happy spring cleaning!