"ASHES TO ASHES"
It's not just western Christianity
where ashes have significance in ritual and religion.
Ashes play a part in worldwide cultures and ceremony.
Ash Wednesday was celebrated by Christians yesterday --
where ashes are rubbed on the foreheads of the faithful --
thus beginning the 46 days of Lent,
leading up to the celebration of Easter.
Most religions honor periods of repentance
and sacrifice to atone for sins.
A good time to atone.
Mankind seems to have been busy
in the "sin department."
(The ashes for Ash Wednesday
are traditionally from the burnt palm leaves
from the preceding Palm Sunday.)