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Talking it over: Feasting and fasting

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We are officially in the season of Lent and for those who believe in observing this season it can mean many things. It is a time for humble sacrifices such as fasting or denying things that you desire or enjoy. Lent is a time for reflection and preparation, leading up to a more festive Easter celebration.

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I wasn’t raised Lutheran but converted after marriage. I did not grow up observing the Lenten season but quickly came to understand and appreciate what the period leading up to Easter is all about. With each year that goes by Lent has more meaning. However my favorite part of observing what in my mind is a dismal, dreary period, is coming out of Lent and enjoying a fresh, fragrant and colorful Easter.

Lent always falls during a time of year that compliments it nicely. The final days of winter are also a time for fasting (or dieting), reflection (as we stay indoors out of the cold), and preparation (making plans for summer). Similarly, Easter comes just as winter is letting loose and spring, in all its glory, is bursting forth. It is a wonderful and meaningful end to Lent.

However, during this time when so many people are giving things up for lent and fasting to some degree, we are bombarded with meals. Winter and spring are also the most popular time for fund-raising suppers sponsored by area organizations. If one wanted to, you could feast several times a week and not worry about cooking, especially on the weekend, for quite some time.

I enjoy this season almost as much as any other time of year. Not only for the food but for the socializing. After spending many cold nights at home it is nice to have a reason to get out and see what your friends and neighbors have been up to.

It is the season of Lent but also a season of transition. A time to prepare not only for Easter but for spring. An opportunity to reflect on the past and also prepare for the future. A time to feast, not only on food, but on the knowledge that winter is slowly drawing to a close.

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