In my Christian tradition (the United Church of Christ) today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the liturgical season of Lent. This year I am particularly mindful of what is literally in ashes around our world. I am mindful of the ashes of charred Earth in California (and the US West) from several years of drought and forrest fire, ashes now drenched in water from this flood year choking our waterways as the torrential rains more easily erode the charred land. I am mindful of the ashes of the remains of camps at Standing Rock where for months a great gathering of indigenous tribes and allies had met and done sacred ceremony in service of the Missouri River and all the beings downstream, now cleared and burned in the service of oil company profits. I am mindful of the ashes of whole neighborhoods in Syria where people once danced at weddings, children once played, faithful folk once prayed but now all that is left is ruins and ashes and so many people dead or scattered around the world looking for safety. I am mindful of the ashes of mosques and synagogues and churches torched by those who have been inflamed by hate and intolerance. This Ash Wednesday as I go forward to have ash smudged on my forehead and hear the words "Ashes to Ashes" I am particularly mindful of what is literally in ashes around our world. Blessings on all those who have found their world reduced to ashes, may they find solace, comfort, welcome, and strength.
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You can read the blog about my newest book project, "What's Remembered, Lives!" here...