I love birthdays, probably because my mother always made sure that our birthdays were fun and festive. Our family would all dress up for dinner and, as the birthday boy, I got to determine the menu.
Let this day, this Ash Wednesday, be a day for fewer words all day long. Let it be a day for some stillness, for paying quiet attention to mystery, to beauty, to the sacred.
Every year on November 1, All Saints Day, I remember Sacred Heart cemetery in the town where I grew up. It was a huge Polish cemetery situated on a long sloping hill next to a busy intersection. Starting at dusk on November 1, the eve of the Catholic All Souls Day, the entire cemetery would be lit up with thousands of red votive candles on nearly every grave. It looked like the dead were getting ready to have a party and had turned on all the lights in the house.