The Need for Ritual
Something truly amazing happens when you take that magical first step towards the realization of your dreams. The world opens up. People appear to help you. Doors begin to open.
Sounds like rainbows and unicorns doesn’t it?
In fact it’s hard. Very, very hard. We left an area where we’d lived for the entirety of our married life. An area where we’d established ourselves, made friendships, had weekly routines that put us in places where we were known, cared for, and loved.
Twelve years ago I moved away from the only home I’d ever known. I packed up my bedroom and moved 200+ miles away to start my adult life in Savannah, GA. For two years I called the Hostess City of the South my home and then, without warning, my wandering soul tugged me back Atlanta-ways. And now I’m sitting here, in a shaded courtyard, back in Savannah, this time with a husband and a cat in tow.
I thought this time it would be easy.
I thought this time it would be a piece of that proverbial cake.
I was wrong.
It’s been tough, Dear Reader. Because of health challenges, this is the first time I’ve had a full time job in five years. We downsized to half (read that HALF) the living space we were used to. My husband has yet to find a job and parking in Savannah is anything but a dream. We are still getting the house in order, still trying to piece together the things that came with us and wondering where some of what was supposed to come ended up. Many nights I wake up and wonder, “Am I just %^*$*^$ crazy?”
1. I HAVE a full time job and I LOVE IT! Seriously. I have never, ever been able to say with 100% conviction that I love my job until now. It’s a gloriously cheerful boutique kitchen shop smack in the heart of the historic district, right outside one of the busiest tourist spots. It’s maddeningly crazy but after two weeks I STILL want to one day own my own shop. I must be doing something right.
2. The owner of our carriage house is awesome.
3. My boss is fracking amazing.
4. We live 20 minutes from Downtown Savannah and 20 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean.
Yes, Readers, it IS a wonder to watch your dreams come true. A crazy ball of mixed emotion wonder.
It took me a while, but I finally understand why it’s been such a hard transition this time. Over the past twelve years I’ve established rituals and routines that give my psyche the much needed recognition of “this is life and this is good”. When most of everything you own has either been sold or packed and left behind, it’s hard to find your footing. Yes, it’s just stuff but we are -for right or wrong, better or worse- connected to the things we carry. We’re thrown off balance when the things that anchor us are lost at sea. I found myself seriously wanting to go back. What brought me back to sanity?
A simple cup of tea.
The sound of water in a kettle, the clatter of sugar spoon against porcelain, the smell of a bag of green tea. Nothing profound. Chances are you’re thinking, “It’s tea. Big deal.” When the soul is thrown into a tail spin it is, most definitely, a big deal.
I’m discovering many things that are grounding, things I always took for granted: a playlist for an as yet unwritten novel, a particular series of books, consuming ridiculous amounts of Chick-Fil-A, country music from 1998. Rituals. We need them. And it doesn’t matter how petty, how ludicrous, how insignificant they may seem to others. If a cup of tea can calm my nerves and give my soul the assurance that I am in the right place, that I am HOME regardless of my surroundings, then it is a most important thing. It deserves recognition and it deserves a certain solemnness of enjoyment.
Thank you for your patience, Dear Reader. Forgive my long absence. Tell me, what rituals bring you back to your soul-center?