We are in Ordinary Time since Sunday, January 10. In our house, we know this because our Christmas tree which was especially beautiful this year, and graced our living room for almost a month, was taken away on January 12 to be transformed into mulch for our gardens and grounds.
These few weeks between the Christmas season and Ash Wednesday are an "in-between" time: it is winter but we haven't been into it long enough to justify screaming "enough!", it is too early to see signs of spring and some of us have the January blahs. It is an "in-between" time because, even if the Christmas tree is gone, we are still finding tree needles in strange places, and we are not yet ready to anticipate Lent which begins on February 17.
These few weeks of Ordinary Time give us the opportunity to slow down the pace a bit, to take deep breaths, and to catch up with friends. Before we have to become serious about Lent, some of us might decide that it is a good time to go through cluttered drawers and closets. There is an ancient practice in monasteries when some time in Lent the Abbot or Prioress would visit the monk's or nun's bedroom to make sure that he/she was not accumulating too many things. Just in case Sister Nancy, our Prioress, decides to visit my bedroom this Lent I am going to get a head start and start uncluttering now. I have a big job ahead of me. On the other hand, I think I will take a long winter nap.