The word “Lent” comes from an Old English word that is the same root as our word for “lengthen,” as in the lengthening of the day. It has been a long winter for all of us, and it has been a hard winter for me for a variety of reasons. This year, I think lent is drawing me to look forward and be hopeful about the future: to look forward to spring with the lengthening daylight, to look forward to Easter, and to the fulfilment of other hopes. Lent focuses on the dryness and darkness of the human condition, and it is important to reflect on those themes. However, I think that we should also remember that lent leads us to the joy of Easter, and that says something about the rest of the long dark seasons of our lives.