Creating Rituals

In high school, I had a friend Sue P., who always stepped into her home on her right foot — through the threshold on the same foot. And I was jealous of her ritual. Her magical thinking seemed exceedingly sophisticated. I admired her commitment to it.

What are my quirky rituals? Do I even have any? Of course, I do. We all do. Commuting via citibike to work? Or earlier in the morning, coffee with my journal, alone at the kitchen table. Yes, I have that comforting ritual.

I’ve been thinking about rituals and the purpose they serve. I believe they somehow connect us to the divine.

And these rituals, like bedtime prayers and journaling and making art and maybe even chatting on the phone with my mother every day now, keep us sane and connected.

I’ve been reading Eric Booth’s Tending the Perennials, lent to me by Lindsay. And we talk about the book as we walk the dogs — a ritual.

Booth writes about his pilgrimage into the woods for a week. Alone. Naked. He sets himself the task of writing or thinking of one thousand things for which he is grateful.

And today, when I started my day with journaling, I wrote about the things for which I’m grateful:
It started like this:
my nose
the sun peeking through the clouds
my parents, my darlings
the New York Times
homes full of light
travel to Italy, esp. that memory of riding through the wet streets on the back of a Vespa
jigsaw puzzle pieces
homemade quiche
social media for good
Deb’s generosity
hearing aids
home

And there is more. There is always more. At least one thousand good things more. It is a comfort to simply keep a ritual for which to remember gratitude.

Morning walk today.
I find myself making flowers.

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