I saw this phrase today: Take comfort in rituals. It struck me – right in my gut. The word ritual, in and of itself, is not a word we think of when we think of lovely words. But oh the delight in the fact that rituals exist.
Not the ridiculous, unnecessary, meaningless rituals. Those are just annoying. Like when someone has to finish their tea or coffee or soda before they do something else – ever! That annoys me. There might be the most beautiful sunset in the history, but one must finish one’s beverage first! (Or insert one of the most annoying rituals someone you know goes through.)
But what about those delightful rituals that create consistencies in our world? Our memory banks are full of rituals that give depth to our history, our family ties, our holiday gatherings, our moments we cherish. When we think about them, we smile. Not just on our face, either, but in our hearts.
My grandpa (one of my all-time favorite humans) would take each of us kids on an outing from time to time. Often by ourselves. Every time we went out with grandpa we would stop and get a root beer. That may not sound like anything these days, but a few decades ago soda (or pop) was not consumed like it is today. And it was definitely NOT consumed in our house except on extremely special occasions. So getting a root beer was amazing! I mean AMAZING! I remember one time (one of those strange snapshot memories) my younger brother returned from one such outing and hopped out of the car exclaiming to the world that he got a root beer. I smiled inside myself because I remembered feeling just that elated the last time grandpa took me for one. Silly ritual, really.
But I’m smiling quite largely on the inside right now at its memory. I need to start a few silly rituals with my grandkids, I think.