Why am I writing about “Aschermittwoch”?

Apart from the obvious, I was born on Ash Wednesday. There is a quite famous German carnival song called “Am Aschermittwoch ist alles vorbei” meaning that on Ash Wednesday, it (=carnival) is all over. I have always asked myself: was my birth on that day, when “it’s all over”, really the end, or was it, instead, the beginning of something new? Mind you, and on the face of it, the beginning of a long fast doesn’t sound like much fun.

imagesYou would give away your age if you admitted to remember the Taoiseach (or: prime minister:) of our country to enter the chamber of the Dail (or: parliament) with a big black mark on his forehead. It always happened 46 days before Easter and it was on the first of 40 days of fasting (no fasting on Sundays!). It meant ….

None of that today. No more black ash on the Taoiseach’s forehead. People are still fasting during lent but many are quick to point out that they are not doing it for religious reasons.

When I came back to Pádraig today, I felt so good, you wouldn’t believe it. There’s something going on here that I don’t fully understand yet.

The coming days are an opportunity for reflection, I guess.

I’ll take it.