If there has to be a winter, February would be my favorite month of it. It is the month of quite a few significant dates or holidays, including my birthday and Mardi Gras. Best of all, it brings the promise of spring and rebirth.
Even though I have never gone to Mardi Gras in Mobile or New Orleans, there’s something about knowing it’s there that makes me glad. And the occasional King Cake always finds its way to Auburn and into my kitchen in time for Fat Tuesday, before the more somber, contemplative season of Lent.
For the past few years, Auburn has had its own small, but growing, Mardi Gras parade, Krewe de Tigris. The community lines the streets downtown to cheer participants in the procession as diverse as adorable costumed dogs from local animal rescues, the Army, and Pride on the Plains. It warms my heart to see the crowd sharing beads and moon pies and smiles with each other, regardless of our similarities or differences.
And my own back yard is slowly becoming a spectacle of Mardi Gras colors: gold and green and purple. The yellow daffodils and forsythia, mixed in with the beautiful purple wild violets, are heralds of the beauty that’s to come.
I stopped “giving up” things for Lent years ago when I realized it would be more atoning to practice compassion for other living beings — including the earth — than to make such paltry “sacrifices” as giving up chocolate or soft drinks or social media.
This year for Lent, I plan to do something rather than give something up: To plant a bee and butterfly garden. To campaign for cleaner water and air. To do my part to ensure that February continues to keep its promise that spring is just ahead and will bring with it all manner of natural beauty.
Marian Carcache welcomes
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