What To Wear In Lent. That sounds a bit like the title of a Ladybird Book. And what is the answer? Sack cloth and ashes? Purple? Smudge of ash? Unfortunately, Lent is not all about denying yourself treats, or I'd be feeling a bit smug. After all, I've given up buying myself new clothes all year, let alone for Lent. That's Iron Woman triathlon treat-denial that is, not just a footling little marathon.
Today I'm wearing black. Readers of this blog will know not to read any significance into that choice. I wear black roughly four days in seven. In the winter, that is. In the summer I wear a lot of white. There's something to look forward to. Black is smart, black is slimming, black is the default setting. It is also traditionally the colour of mourning. And I am mourning, as it happens. An old friend died yesterday. I'm guessing she'd prefer me to be in vibrant colours. That would be a better celebration of her life. But no, I'm in black, feeling bleak, wishing I could have gone across to the cathedral this evening to be ashed. To hear the echoes of Allegri's Miserere chasing down the nave. To remember that I am dust and to dust I will return.
This is more what Lent is about. One day it will be summer. One day I will be wearing white. I know this. But there's a journey to be done first. There's no fast forward to Easter.