“Ritual maintains the world’s holiness. As in a dream a small object
may assume significance, so in a life that is animated by ritual there
are no insignificant things.” Thomas Moore
Most mornings commence with the same beginnings. My alarm rings at 5:30 a.m. and as I lace up my tennis shoes, there is a layer cake of varying shades of darkness in the horizon. The route I run greets me with familiar sights: the pale-brown rabbits hopping away, the amber-pink-blue sky plays as the sun rises, the rush of cars at the traffic light, and the green cacti littered on almost every turn. It is always the same. And in this sameness I find a deep sense of comfort.
I’ve learned in the last few years my deep friendship with routine. As soon as my run is finished, I open the blinds in the kitchen, brew coffee, and empty the dishwasher. These actions are so ordinary, but offer a sense of peace. The reminder that with my hands I can let the outside world come into my space by allowing a streak of light to peek through the blinds. That my senses can hear the dripping of the coffee and smell the vanilla hazelnut liquid even if I am not in the same room. Hearing the clank and clang of pots and pans reminds me of the dinner I shared with my family.
There are other rituals that set the pace of my life. I talk with my Mom everyday, even if it is a brief exchange of hellos or a longer conversation about nothing in particular. My daughter and I exchange a dozen love yous during the day. There are other moments of purely mundane activity: washing dishes in the sink, walking out to the mailbox to retrieve the mail, placing the dirty clothes in the hamper, and taking my daughter to school. These ordinary movements pierces me with the awareness that I am here. And I am privileged enough to embrace a routine.
It’s these insignificant actions that become a part of who you are, even though you may not consciously be aware of it. There is an umbrella of comfort that accompanies me through all of my various routines. Despite the sometimes unexpected changes that happens to all, the routine is where there can be an overriding sense of belonging, comfort and grace. And in it, if you are conscious enough, you can feel the holiness.
Image by crestedcrazy