Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Chocolat and Lent

Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Holy Season of Lent. The period in the liturgical year leading up to Easter which is characterised by self-denial in all its forms.

Self-denial is not really my style of late. Sure, I've gone through periods of radical abstinence before: two years as a raw food vegan; a 10-day water fast; a 5-day water fast; a multitude of 3-day water fasts. But this year, none of that seemed to fit right.

So this afternoon, I broke out my copy of Chocolat; as well as the remnants of a slab of Woolworths Organic 70% Dark Chocolate I had stashed in the cupboard; sat down on the couch and indulged.
But isn't this the exact opposite of the spirit of the season of Lent, you say?


Does this make me a sinful heathen?

Not at all. My spirituality remains intact, if not reaffirmed in a new, special way.

However, this year, I'm trying life Vianne Rocher style...Enjoying the sound of the church bells without getting caught up in the doctrine of actually going to church. Seeing chocolate as a perfectly suitable substitute for food on occasion. Setting up shrines to the voluptuous goodness of life and the last of the Summer garden greenery. Relishing the way the Autumn sun lulls rather than scorches, encouraging naps in an unabashed Ode to Autumn a la John Keats.

As the movie ends, so is my stance on this season of Lent...a new awakening and a lightness of spirit...helped along with gorgeous lashings of deep, dark chocolate!

P.S. Both the movie and the book are delicious in their own rights, and cover the topic of decadence versus abstinence during the time of Lent. Sink your teeth into both if you have the wont regret it!

P.P.S. Here are a few chocolate recipes for you to enjoy, should you be feeling similarly inclined: