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Enjoying: Daily Rituals

I recently switched from a regular coffee maker to a pour over (got this one) after my neighbor convinced me it was so much better. And yes, I did taste several cups she had made me and admit it’s richer–purer, maybe, without all the buildup that gets trapped in your coffee maker–although I’m sure a true coffee connoisseur would describe this in better terms. But I’ll also admit it was more about upping my ritual game. Making the coffee was already one of my favorite morning rituals, but when I watched my neighbor make hers, I felt the burn of ritual envy. My morning started with a scoop, scoop, shove, wait, trickle, pour, but hers with the pour over? Well, it didn’t help that she was sweeping around her kitchen in some ethereal nightgown. But seriously, it was beautiful. It was more a clink, clink, whir, scoop, whir, whistle, pour, trickle, steam, purr, mmmmmmmm.

I see your morning ritual, and I raise you an Amazon Prime 2-day delivery of my new coffee maker, thank you.

This isn’t the first time I’ve succumbed to ritual envy. In second grade, it took just one evening at my friend Kelly’s house during Hannukkah when I watched them light the menorah and say Hebrew prayers to send me running home to ask, “Hey Dad, can we be Jewish?” It was the candles, man. Candles are my weakness and the singular pivotal element that turns an ordinary event into a meaningful ritual. Which is why I’m like, “Hey kids, it’s National Barber Shop Quartet Day. Gather round the candelabra, we’re going to hold hands and say prayers in its glow.” I FEEL that barber shop love, man. I FEEL it.

I dive into these elements of ritual when the world feels scary or when I’m anxious, discontent or feeling less alive than usual. There’s something both calming and invigorating in ritual–the daily ceremonies that ground us and offer rich sensory opportunities in the bones of everyday life. The candle I light every morning to start my day, the sound of the trickle of hot water through the coffee grounds, the rhythm of my feet against pavement on an afternoon run, the leap I make to touch the blossoms on the Cassia tree every time I pass it. Filling the pretty tin watering can–the one I splurged on just to make the ordinary task of watering plants a little more enjoyable; chopping carrots and peppers on the beat up cutting board with the red wine stain; shaking freshly washed sheets to smooth them before I fold them into a rectangle, then a square, then another square; brushing tangled hair and braiding it before school; hoisting kids out of the tub with a towel and swooping them around the bathroom in an airplane ride–just like my dad used to do to us when we were little.

This week it’s coffee. A new pretty glass pot. The whistle of my tea kettle. A few more ceremonious steps that yield a damn good cup of coffee. Oh, and I froth my cream now with a tool that looks like it came from a dentist office. It makes the prettiest foam, and I feel spoiled–in the reassuring “I’m paying good attention to myself” way–when I take the first sip. And maybe that’s what ritual really is all about…paying good attention. To the sun and the sky and our families and our food and the abundant comforts our world gives us. And candles. Can’t forget those candles.

This week, I’m paying attention to…

The dance of waves and wind and hair…

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Sand sugared thighs…

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Unexpected rainbows…

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Hidden treasures in the woods…

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The Golden Hour…

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The hilarity of asking an 8-ball “Are you a butt?” and it answering “Yes.”…

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The sights at the weekend farmer’s market…

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“The Happy Pickle” stand…

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Questions about unrecognizable fruit…

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The way he says “Ahda-cado”…

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Giant carrotts and Brett’s skepticism regarding how they got that big…

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Impromptu lunches out and a Saturday nooner beer…

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Yellow shoes…

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…and a happy high kick.

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Happy Humpday, friends.

Comments

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  1. I just got a percolator (Faberware) coffee pot and I love it. Piping hot…. good coffee. I Love the smell while it’s percolating. I’m back to grinding my beans too. Thx for the reminder of a frother….. I need to get mine out of the cabinet and use it.

    Here’s to a good cup of coffee. :)

    (beautiful photos… as always)

  2. Haven’t stopped by in a while. So glad I did! Beautiful post! PS- remember that one time when you gave up coffee?!?!! oh myyyyy

  3. Jamie Burdorf says:

    This post just made me SO happy! It reminds me of my gratitude journal that I started in the new year. Every single day I write down ten things I’m grateful for. It’s amazing how when you’re actively seeking out things you can be grateful for, it’s kind of hard to be in a bad mood. Happy Hump Day!

  4. I love rituals!

    And that weird fruit is ginger! :)

  5. Ahahaha, Dash asking if the Magic 8 Ball is a butt – classic topper!! 😀

  6. I don’t think I have too many rituals. I put our mail on the same hallway table everyday, so maybe that’s one. If that table suddenly disappeared, the mail would drop to the floor for a long, long time by me thinking that the table was still there.

  7. Thanks so much for the reminder to slow down this week! I have a one year old so my coffee is set on a 5:30am timer, but I’ll find my ritual. :)

  8. I love this so much. Ritual means so much to me, but it often gets forgotten or neglected in the crazy unpredictable world of child raising. Will do better.

  9. Isabel Guerra says:

    How is it that you find the best t-shirts for your kids?? First there was the “Why do I need feet if I have wings to fly,” and now “let’s swim to the moon”? I love it! Where do you find these gems??

    • The feet one was Peek Kids a while back (but Peek has incredible quote shirts!). The swim one is actually a bathing suit from Billabong. Hope that helps!

  10. I’m doing a 31 Days of Yoga Challenge this month with Sarah Beth Yoga (such great stuff!!!) and she leads each day with a meditation or question to ponder. Yesterday it was, “What have I discovered about myself on my yoga journey?” I realized (once again) that a regular yoga practice (read: ritual) is one of the key elements of sustainable self care for my life, which in turn means I can care better for those around me. Paying attention to myself not just for my own sake but for the callings, lives, and purposes of those around me.

  11. Pondering………Is ritual the same as routine?

    • Great question. For me, at least, not all my routines are rituals, but all my rituals are routines with intention. Driving my kids to school is more a routine I do every day without thinking, but things like making the morning coffee with music and a candle or taking a bath with essential oils and a cup of tea? I pay attention to these more and drink up the experience :o).

  12. Btw that photo of Nella in the woods is just the most gorgeous thing I have seen all week

  13. Melissa :) says:

    Sometimes you speak when others need to listen. I needed to listen. Thank you.

  14. That’s not a fruit Dash is holding, it’s ginger and it’s a root.

  15. Started my morning ritual today-going to the gym at 5:30 and getting a workout out before anyone else in my house wakes up. I am not sure if I can keep this up but feels good to have time to myself doing something healthy to start my day!

  16. Love this post. Xx

  17. Amazing post. I just loved it a lot.

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