Ash Wednesday has come to be a marker-point each year for me. It begins a season I look forward to (and fear)... Lent.
I did not grow up Catholic, so Lent is a bit of a new thing for me... something that I've only really discovered in my adult life. But it has been a formative thing these last couple a few years.
Lent is an opportunity each year to work out of my system some form of unhealth, whether it be spiritual unhealth, physical unhealth, both, all, whatever. It's a chance to release something for 40 days to focus on something else. And at the end of the 40 days, it's a chance to re-negotiate one's relationship with that thing.
Holly is going to attempt a more additive approach this year. I might stick to my nominal subtractive formula.
Will has some comments on Lenten Practices. He says This year in community we will also be practicing a proactive discipline. So, instead of simply denying ourselves something, we will be seeking to actively do something that strengthens our ties to our community, whatever that community might be.