Ash Wednesday. The first day of Lent. The season of sacrifice. What to *give up*? What to set down? What do you love (possibly more than God) that separates you from Him? Or separates you from the full and total person you were meant to be? The season of holistic mindfulness. It starts with letting go of the past. The Church collects all the palms from last year’s Easter season to create the ashes smeared on our foreheads today. They take the past and make the mark that stains us. Appropriate. We walk in the world owning that stain: our fault, failures, sins of omissions. We carry it for all to see. Admittedly, we usually walk in the world thinking no one sees us, even lamenting that we aren’t seen. Yet, its all right there like soot wiped across our faces. We must focus on that and permit the spring rising, the renewal, the resurrection of new life. Day 1.