Take the whole teatime just to drink your tea. I started doing this in airports. Instead of reading, I sit there and look at everything, and appreciate it. Even if you don’t feel appreciation, just look. Feel what you feel; take an interest and be curious. Write less; don’t try to capture it all on paper. Sometimes writing, instead of being a fresh take, is like trying to catch something and nail it down. This capturing blinds us and there’s no fresh outlook, no wide-open eyes, no curiosity.
~ Pema Chodron
The quote from Pema Chodron is so interesting to me in terms of the idea of writing and how it can be like “trying to catch something and nail it down.” Photography can be that way, too. There’s a kind of balance necessary that I think we need in most activities, most especially those that involve a passion. It’s easy to lean too far in the direction of no longer experiencing what I am recording with the camera. It becomes all about framing and capturing what is happening rather than living the events. This analogy is probably good for anything we do that takes us out of the experience of life.
I recently had a 1:1 with my teacher as part of the individualized study portion of the yoga teacher training I’ve been involved in. (It should be noted that Karin, my teacher, refers to it as the anti-200 hour training. If you want to read more, you can find the information at her website, Return Yoga.) We talked about a lot of things, but the thing I want to share involves the early morning and watching the sunrise.
One practice that I have been consistent about, no matter where I am, is watching the sunrise. Oh, I might miss it occasionally, usually after a bad night of insomnia, the kind in which I fall asleep about an hour before I would normally wake up. Having been thinking a lot about ritual, I realized how much of a ritual observing the sunrise has become for me. I hesitated over the word “observing” because there are days, many days, when I feel I am a part of it, not just a witness.
I wonder if that is what ritual is all about, becoming part of the act itself. I believe so Because I am so interested in words, I looked up the etymology of the word ritual. Wikipedia has a long article that includes the origins, and there is apparently speculation that it might have come from the Sanskrit ṛtá which means “visible order” or “the lawful and regular order of the normal, and therefore proper, natural and true structure of cosmic, worldly, human and ritual events.”
I’m not sure about “proper, natural, and true” but do appreciate the idea of regular order. I like routine, as most of us do. What changes routine to ritual, I believe, is the notion of the sacred. I do not necessarily mean the divine or Divine, but sacred in the sense of being holy or whole (the word “holy” springs from hāl meaning “uninjured, sound, healthy, entire, complete” via Wikipedia).
We are winding things down in regards to our stay here in the Bogs (NE Ohio). We’ll be traveling home in a little over a week. This time is filled with poignant moments, almost in sync with the slow waning of summer seen in the meadows and even in some of the trees. There are hints of autumn everywhere.
I’ve finished my stint as Circle Time leader and homeschooler, for now. I am thankful for the opportunity. I felt a little out of my element at first, but it didn’t take long to get into the spirit of things. The Little Wookie and Little Peanut are well on their way towards routine and learning preschool skills. Circle Time has changed from a kind of chaotic beginning where they were bouncing around to a more focused sing-along now that they know the words to the songs and what to expect in terms of the ordering of things. They give a rousing rendition of 7 Days of the Week. (Don’t visit that link/song unless you’re willing to have that song in your head for a while.)
Thank you so much for dropping by and visiting with me today. I hope to post at least once more before we hit the road and head back to the Wabi-Sabi Ranch on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. We’ll be home in time for peak hurricane season. Oh joy. I see there are currently two named storms out there (Laura and Marco). They look to be headed towards the Gulf states rather than up the east coast. I hope they don’t cause too much trouble. Back on the Eastern Shore, they’ve had a great deal of rainfall over the past month. Too much, perhaps. We’ll see what that means when we return.
Please be safe, be well, and be kind. As observed here in Ohio, kindness is not always easy to come by these days due to the messages coming down from above. Even something as simple as wearing a mask to protect others appears to be beyond what some are willing to do. Thankfully, there are those who understand what it means to be kind, to help, and to reach out to those in need, and I’m pretty sure they outnumber those who don’t.
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,506) Spending time on what feels like home ground. 1,507) Goofing around with toddlers and laughing at their silly jokes. 1,508) Chilly mornings spaced in between the hot days. 1,509) Sharing meals with family. 1510) Spending some time with a friend even if we had to physically distance. It was a beautiful day to sit outside and chat.