For all my talk about the importance of dwelling in the purple times, I did not attend a service on Ash Wednesday. No ashes marked my forehead. I did not wear my faith publicly today.
In part, this was because of scheduling: Anna had a ballet performance in the morning, and Sofia had gymnastics in the evening. I could have tried harder, though. There are lots of churches in Kalamazoo, and I'm sure one of them was holding a service that I could have gotten myself to.
The bigger reason is that this year I don't need to be reminded that I am dust. I already know. The fragility of human life and the constant possibility of death are real to me in a way that they never have been before.
I am dust; so are you. Precious dust that houses a beautiful soul. Fragile dust animated by breath.
To dust shall we return someday, maybe soon. In the meantime, love.