Spring cleaning

So we're nearing the end of Shrove Tuesday, otherwise known as Pancake Day. While other countries dance and indulge themselves into Lent via carnevale or mardi gras, we usher it in more gently, courtesy of some delicious pancakes. Each year, as we enjoy the fun of making them and savour their light sweetness, we wonder why we don't eat them more often. Maybe this year will be the year we will...

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!