Today, I got a lot of messages reflecting on Ash Wednesday. The start of the lenten season.

What I always find fascinating is that the ash is made by burning the palm leaves of the previous year’s Palm Sunday.

The palm leaves of Palm Sunday are used in the celebration of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, at the start of the Holy Week.

The palm leaves are kept as holy ornaments for a full year, up until Ash Wednesday.

By Ash Wednesday, time would have dried them out, and fire is used to convert them to ashes, as a symbol of humanity’s dust to dust destiny.

A symbol of pride becomes a symbol of vanity within a short time.

I am thankful for rituals that communicate in symbolic ways: the shortness of peaks, and the vastness of valleys.

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