Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Morning Rituals and Dust Motes

I love the morning.  I like to wake up early when it's still dark and listen to the traffic start to increase on our corner as the minutes tick by.  I like to roll over out of a dead sleep and shut off my 5h55 am alarm and scramble to get dressed and out the door my 6 am to meet a friend to walk the dark streets of our neighborhood.  I like to come back sweaty, and get sleepy-eyed beauties up from warm beds.  I like an ice cold diet coke and about ten minutes of news before I make lunches and cheer children to make beds and pick up their rooms.

My mornings are shaped around rituals.  And I love rituals.  One of my favorite authors, Alexandra Stoddard was introduced to me just as I was breaking out on my own as a young adult.  Her book Living a Beautiful Life was one of those books that has shaped my entire adult experience.  On rituals, she writes, "Rituals is my term for patterns you create in your everyday living that uplift the way you do ordinary things, so that a simple task rises to the level of something special...Rituals elevate the was you feel about yourself, your life, and make you feel more peaceful and more free, more useful to others.  When these small moments are handled lovingly and with thought and care, they become more life-enhancing and make you more capable of doing more with the rest of your time."  Rituals bind us, make us into great people (if we choose) and can lead us to fully appreciate our days and hours, weeks and years.  A life made of rituals is rich, satisfying and full.

As I finish this post, I am sitting in the living room engaged in one of my favorite daily rituals: Writing the ever expansive Daily List of To Dos.  The kids are off to school, the laundry is humming away, my day is well under way.  The eastern facing windows are bright with a new sun.  The light is streaming through the windows giving the ancient wainscoting in this old house a honey colored glaze.  And as I look up...I can see dust motes swirling all around...annoying me with their ever present contagion of film over all the wood that needs to be dusted every, single day. more thing to add to the list: Dust, AGAIN.  Dusting is up there in my book with changing a diaper, babysitting other people's children, and attending office Christmas parties.  It is one of those things that no matter how many times I do it, there is no satisfaction~it will just need to be done again before I want to do it.  Opportunity for ritual, or just a pain in the neck?

Deep breath.

Let the ritual begin.


  1. Ritualized pain, in the dust bowl that is SE Washington...

  2. I keep looking for the 'like' button.

  3. Lisa I love it, and the dust in this lovely town of Walla Walla forever is present in families lives...

  4. I love your brain...and the rest of you, my talented yesteryear friend.