The reflection for Thursday after Ash Wednesday (Channel Tunnel, England) asks me to see my life as a garden that needs to be watered and weeded but cannot be forced or controlled. I always used to see Lent as a project, one of the major projects of the year in fact. But the image of myself as a "watered garden" that cannot be forced but only nurtured has changed my outlook on many aspects of my life: for instance, my high school sophomores are not projects that need controlling but gardens that need nurturing; and Lent is no longer a carefully calculated project but rather a chance to let the Lord nourish me.
Ash Wednesday's reflection suggests the metaphor of Lent as "The journey with Jesus into the truth about yourself," while Friday's visit to the La Paz Witches' Market suggests "Lent is a good time to … take a careful inventory of the things you tend to rely on when God is not enough, or when God is not answering as quickly as you would like." Saturday's reflection on the Rue de Sèvres, notes that Lent is a time for growing closer to God through acts of charity toward others, especially those in need.
Each of these images has been helpful to me personally at one time or another over the years, and they have certainly influenced the way I celebrate Lent. What about you? Does one of these images strike you as particularly helpful for observing Lent?