Max and I just got home from Dolores and Morgan’s pack-and-pizza party.  I felt like I was at a modern day barnraising.  All day neighbors floated through to pack some boxes, break-down shelves, and load up the trailer truck while drinking beer and water by the gallon.    They are still going under the street lights.

On Thursday night a group of neighborhood women gathered under a full moon to drink seabreezes and wine while Dolores roamed through her garden packing and weeding and just being there.  While no one talked much about the impending move, we all sat and held the space, sitting together and giggling for just a few hours.

It seems that all these little rituals somehow make the going away easier for all those who are mourning this move.  Perhaps it is easier to let them go knowing they are taking a bit of our hearts (and sweat) with them.  I am saddened that I knew this family for such a short period of time.  But I believe in my heart that it is not the end.  We will continue I hope to keep them close.

Rituals like these that Dolores’ tribe have launched are so important.  They mark endings and beginnings and allow us all to work through our joys and sorrows in community.  We don’t have enough ritual in modern life.  Too often we are too busy to stop and mark the simple every day wonders.  I have thought about this quite a bit and wondering how I can slow down enough to add some ritual to our lives. I think it would be healthy for not only me, but for Max too.  Rituals help us make meaning out of the world.

Late last week I finished a two year assignment to go back to my old job.  I am leaving the office of the organization I have worked at for two years.  And at the end of the week there was the party that I had dreaded.  There was beer and wine,appetizers and cake.  Cards and a gift.  Everyone stood around in a circle awkwardly and said nice things about me.  I felt so funny about it-I hate being in the spotlight and would have just preferred to slip away quietly.  But a wise mentor of mine reminded me how we all need these rituals to mark our milestones.  I needed it and so did all those I was leaving behind. 

I would love to hear about rituals that you have incorporated in your life–I am looking for some good ones to help us bring some order and regularity to our days–to help us mark our endings and our beginnings and mark the time.  Post your favorite rituals here in the comments or send them to me at margaretacasey at yahoo dot com. 

One Response to “Some late night thoughts on ritual”

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