Rituals for Excellence

Photo taken from http://www.photoxpress.com/stock-photos/religion/travel/asia/374841

Yesterday was Mother’s Day in the US and now that Cai is five celebration days include telling stories about the person whose day it is. I love this process, whether we are thinking about the person and sharing stories of things we admire, appreciate, love or just made us laugh it is always a warm moment. It is a time for reflection, to take stock of the good things in life, a time for appreciation and gratitude.

Yesterday, we went on a narrative journey of Kimberly; old favorites appeared, such as taking Cai dip netting and filling the freezer with a year’s worth of salmon. We laughed at how she is always so hesitant to start things and then just jumps in with both feet, whether it is visiting Barrow in the northlands or supplying hundreds of voluntary hours to make school auctions successful. The thing is it reminded me of how special she is; something I often forget in the midst of our day to day stuff.

Now I think of it I am reminded of a number of rituals I have indulged in over the years all of which have made life better, easier or even possible. Racking gear before I start climbing is a classic example, always done before I “squeak” my shoes, placing each piece of protection in a specific place it acts as a kinesthetic metaphor for ordering my thoughts and centering myself. Stretching in my kayak and going through a sequence of moves before traveling downstream is another, making sure I am ready before obstacles start to fly thick and fast.

My favorite ritual story of late is a friend telling me about how he and a number of other men of a certain age were invited for a meal by the father of an 18 year old. During the feast they were each asked to describe insights of what manhood meant to them while celebrating the young man “coming of age”. Now I need to remember to do that for Cai.

What are some of the rituals that you use?


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