Lenten Reflection

by Lauren Gustafson

On Ash Wednesday I went to the 12:00 service then hopped in my car and drove to Yorktown. It was the best possible way to spend the first day of lent: reflecting on the beach. I drove with my windows down, it was windy but not cold. As I lay my towel down on the sand I looked around and saw others relaxing as well, the clouds were getting darker and the wind was getting stronger but I was determined to out wait the storm. I wanted my alone time. As I lay on my towel reading, I realized how much I missed spending this kind of time by myself. There’s something so relaxing about driving alone and spending a day doing exactly what you want.

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I barely missed the rain. It started falling lightly at first and I made it to my car when the big rain hit. I love rain, it was beautiful watching the rain fall. I was going to walk around the battlefields before I left but didn’t want to be walking in the rain. My family all lives in the Yorktown area so I have many memories of the colonial parkway and historic Yorktown. Being able to sit and reflect on all the time I had spent in this beautiful area was wonderful.

This trip inspired my lenten resolution–to get outside more and do it in a mindful way. Now that lent has passed and we enter holy week, I realize that I didn’t follow my resolution well. It’s a challenge to be intentional about going outside, especially when the weather changes day to day. Now that it’s warm again, I can’t wait to find new ways to get outside…40 days too late. But I think the intention is the same, it’s wonderful time to reflect and it gives me clarity.

At SSJE there was a beautiful snow storm, it snowed for two days almost nonstop. I went outside and walked around in the snow. Watching it fall was magical and walking through the untouched snow was satisfying. Hiking and walking outside in beautiful places is where I feel closest to God. So now that spring has sprung, I’m ready to renew my lenten resolution.

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