Ashes to Ashes

Where’d You Grow Wednesday, Februrary 22, 2012?

You’ll have to excuse the philosophical nature of this post. I can’t really explain why these thoughts have been swirling around in my head this week, and I’m hopeful if I write them down I can move on to something else. Something shallower…something that doesn’t make my brain hurt so much.  Growth happens that way sometimes though, right?.

This past week, and today most certainly, my mind has been trying to wrap itself around the concept of time. Taking it, wasting it, relishing it, ignoring it, living fully despite it, embracing it, running out of it…

Today is Ash Wednesday, and as a Catholic I know what that means. It means I fast. No meat today…or any Friday in the next six weeks. It means sacrifice is on my heart and service is on my mind more pointedly for forty days. It means I should live with intention to strengthen my spiritual life, and I so honestly hope that I do. It is a special time of year…and a timeless tradition.

There is something else though.  The tradition of this holiday and Lenten remembrance carries the weight of time (history) while bringing to light the changes that so clearly happen because of time. I’m not the same woman I was a year ago…Last year I was feeling unbalanced and frustrated by feeling unsettled without a definitive place.

Ash Wednesday has come again and the traditional expectations for humble reflection is the same. Upon what I reflect and how I have moved from there to here is marked more clearly because I carve out this time each year.

 All this week there have been a number of things that have challenged me to a new place in my thinking.

I watched two mind-blowing movies that addressed the concepts of time, life, reality, and mortality. The first was The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Benjamin’s life is marked by an old man who gets younger while everyone around him grows old.

The other thought-provoking movie I watched was Inception.

This was the second time I had watched both movies, but the first time I had introduced my oldest child to them. With new eyes (because I’ve changed) and through his eyes (watching for the first time), I saw two new movies.

That’s how this Ash Wednesday and this upcoming Lent will be too.  The tradition remains, but my participation, my reflection, and my growth will inevitably be different.

I captured two images today that comment on the effects of time.

The pieces of a broken mug from my husband’s hockey-playing days…

My husband's award from 20 years ago...

And, if you look closely at the next photo you will see another testament to time. The small hands at our kids’ school pushed and moved this pile of snow to create a large snow ball. It will take more time to melt this than the other snow…but there will be a point when it no longer exists at all.

Sloppy spring snow ball

Broken through time.

Built over time.

Both happen simultaneously, and I look forward to breaking old habits this Lenten season to build a better version of myself.

Okay…thanks for indulging me.  Maybe I can let this one go now.

Where have you grown? What is it about time that twists your head into knots?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this or any other blogpost I write. I am much better at conversation than monologue 🙂

Happy Growing!


If you want to learn more about Meagan or her current book project, visit her at


Copyright 2012  Choosing to Grow                           Meagan Frank

3 thoughts on “Ashes to Ashes

  1. Must be a reflective day! I read another post today about time – about it passing us by and was reflecting on it – and upon Lent (even though I am not Catholic). I commented to Bella that I have always been a planner and always looking to the future but that for this Lent I had challenged myself to be thoughtfully and purposefully more in the ‘present’ … to not worry about time passing by, time catching up with me, or no time to get it all done. Great post ! ~A
    P.S. I also challenged myself to give up potato chips … we’ll see how that one goes too 🙂

    • Thanks for commenting, Astra! I know this post was out there, and I wasn’t expecting much commentary. I am challenged to write what I think, but at the same time, I am compelled to want to drive conversation too. To be an effective blogger it is necessary that I participate in other people’s blogs more, and I just don’t do that very well. You are such a better blogger than I am 🙂 I think I might have to blog about that soon. 😦 MMF

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