All kidding aside, if there is one New Year's resolution that I think is important to make, it's to resolve to slow down and consciously build rituals in my life.
With the memories of the holidays still warming to the heart, this is a wonderful video that speaks to the softness and gentle rhythm of days spent building rituals. A winter's walk through the forest, cutting down the tree, noticing the new growth of next years' fiddleheads, baking the recipes handed down from our mothers, gathering together against the cold to share life. We don't make rituals in our lives anymore. We hurry through life, running so fast we're like stones skipping over the surface of the pond. But there are great, wondrous, important things hidden in the depths of the pond, and it is in diving into these things, deliberately, consciously, that we create rituals. These things used to be the province of women who tended the fires, and baked the bread, and nurtured the community by weaving together the single, individual strands of sisters and cousins and neighbors into tightly-knit groups. Groups that laughed together, quietly, voices pressed down by the close warmth of company.
Rituals once were a constant in people's lives. They used to come from religion, which we are rapidly abandoning, from women, whom we have liberated from the chore, from the seasons, which demanded attention for our very survival. But we no longer seem to need rituals, and consequently they have been tossed aside to lighten the load as we speed along until we are all skipping stones. Busy, busy, busy...going nowhere fast.
Rituals create mindfulness and build connections. Rituals give structure and meaning to the present, by shaping the experience of all who participate so that we are pulled closer by shared memories. Without rituals we are left to gather memories on our own from a jumble of constantly bouncing, rushing experiences, each of us pulling different impressions and pictures from the hectic scenes through which we move. Rituals slow us down and connect us.
I resolve to create rituals in my life.
But they won't all involve bread, or I'll get big as a house.
H/T: Kitchen Vignettes