Chelle Summer

The Lenten Journey

Michelle Rusk

Something strange happened for Lent this year– my journey started without me being consciously aware of it, the week before Ash Wednesday.

Easter was late this year so I’m not sure how Ash Wednesday managed to sneak up on me like it did, especially because Fr. Gene had told me not long ago that the more we pray, the more we are “aware.” While I initially thought that couldn’t be true because I nearly let Ash Wednesday pass me by without me flagging it down, I realized later that’s because my sense of the Lenten journey has changed.

While I spent a few days debating what I would do for Lent– as I’ve written in years past, every year I try to do something that will strengthen my prayer and/or writing life which are intertwined in many ways– I realized that my journey had actually started the week before Ash Wednesday when I set a new writing goal.

It was as if I didn’t need to be told Lent was coming, instead my awareness through my several prayers during the day, had set the journey in motion.

I had started this seemingly crazy thing of getting up at 4:00 am (it’s not that early– I get up at 4:30 normally) to write two pages before I start my workout. My hope was that I could start my day doing something that is really important to me and sets the tone in a positive way for my day. Then later in the morning I come back and write two more pages.

This is only Monday through Friday, I don’t write on weekends as I’ve found the break helps me be ready again for Monday.

By the time we reached Good Friday, I’d had written quite a number of pages and had a sense that while my manuscript is not where I want it to be, I had made progress.

Greg had Good Friday off and we decided to hit a number of estate sales, the last one on our way home and I really didn’t expect to find anything. We just thought we’d stop because it was along the way. But when he turned the corner in the garage, there was a very large dining room table (one that would fit ten or even twelve although it would be pushing it), the kind of table that I had been looking for to replace our current dining room table which barely fits six people around it. And is hard to cut a full-length dress on.

He called me over and we were both in love. It took about five minutes for us to figure out if it would even work in our house; we both believed it was too big. The family kept telling us how they had had all their holidays meals around it for over fifty years. And it was $120. Surely we could justify that.

As I drove to the ATM to get the cash– Greg staying at the estate sale as collateral– I realized that this was my Easter. That table– bound for my office/studio (we can always switch it out with our dining room table for a party), was a new beginning. It meant we were taking Chelle Summer to another level, giving it the one piece of space it was taking from the rest of the house- our dining room.

Not only did it give me more room to cut, I can lay out multiple projects which keeps me more organized, as well as do other work on it.

I spent Saturday moving things around, cleaning out dusty corners, and making a new beginning for my office. Just as Easter is supposed to be.