I grew up in a community *rich* with ritual, secular and sacred, and, since transitioning into my adult life, have never really been able to recreate that for myself or those around me with the same level of intensity and intention. In my childhood, this included amazing solstice celebrations—communal song, candlelight and theatrical events in the winter, and huge bonfires, dancing, strawberry shortcake and crystal clear night skies in summer—advent celebrations, candelight, the smell of bayberries and cedar, and song—folk song, songs in other languages, rounds, carols—in every nook and cranny of my home, school and communal life.
For me, when “life” gets busy, these rituals tend to go out the door or window, so to speak. This has been even more true during COVID, days months and years blurring together into a seemingly never-ending expanse of sameness. Creating from scratch seems to take such conviction, energy, and courage, and a belief that the ritual will not only be meaningful to me, but to others around me with very different life histories and life experiences. That takes a certain kind of internal confidence that some days and seasons I have, and other times I don’t.
And so I am wondering, dear friends, colleagues and family members:
What are the communal rituals (broadly defined) that you engage in that help you celebrate and be present for the important moments in your month, your year, or your life? What are your rituals, and how do you gather with intention?