Happy Shrove Tuesday! Pancake Tuesday! Mardi Gras! Fat Tuesday!
A little wikepediaing and I learned that the word “shrove” is the past tense form of the verb “shrive,” which means to confess, do penance, and receive absolution. It seems like today should be called Shrove Eve, since tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, is when the traditional period of fasting begins. Today is for eating rich foods, feasting, and celebrating. The kids and I are going to a party at church, complete with face painting and pancakes.
It seems fitting to have seasons of fasting and seasons of feasting. It mirrors the seasons of planting and harvesting, waiting and abundance. We tend to be forgetful and sometimes our perspective comes only in contrast…we are so used to an abundance of food that we forget to be grateful for it. We are so used to warm homes and clean water that we take it for granted, and on and on and on.
In America, our cycle tends to get stuck on “feasting.” But periods of doing without can bring a renewed perspective of gratitude and compassion for those whose cycles are stuck perpetually on “fasting.”
I love having breakfast for dinner, so I’m excited for tonight. And while I can’t say I’m “excited” for the Lenten season, I hope it brings deepened gratitude, compassion, and perspective. “A little bit of Mardi Gras in my life” might be a good slogan after all.