Already? What ever happened to that stretch of time between Epiphany and Lent? Yes, it is shorter this year. It means an earlier Easter, but I am not ready yet. I am not even ready for it to be Lent.
I have felt that the semester really took off before I was completely aware of it; it is racing along as I struggle to keep up. Classes are going well and keeping me very busy, and the rest of my time is taken up with adjusting to the new realities that the Army is throwing at us. After three months of days so long we might as well not be living in the same house, we really will not be living in the same house. We will be one of the families separated by service. I will remain here at school and my husband will be 200 miles away, working with an ambulance company.
There are blessings in this separation. The chance for actual weekends that can be scheduled ahead of time instead of a few minutes to see each other snatched out of an early release from the class he is teaching. A schedule that can be relied upon.
With the plans that come with preparing for this separation, I am finding that Lent is falling between the cracks, so to speak. With classes and the ever-present homework colliding with the tasks of setting up a second household in a place that neither of us has seen yet, I wonder what discipline I could set for Lent. Some sort of giving up? Too penitential, and a little too harsh as I am preparing to give up the companionship of my husband on a daily basis. Some sort of adding on? In what time, and with what little scrap of what is fast becoming a mind like a sieve?
And so I am taken unawares and unprepared for Lent. Somehow, it seems appropriate this year to simply be in the waiting and watching through the transitions that this season is bringing. To remain faithful in the unknowing and the what-next, and to say a few extra prayers in the moments that come to me.