Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Make little rituals for nature

We are all persons of ceremony. This is a quality of being human traced back through our most ancient ways.  I do not mean religious ceremonies, or large community celebrations, but rather repeated daily acts that bring mindfulness and order to our lives. If you are Canadian, you probably take your shoes off when you enter your home.  And you probably do not leave them in a heap to be stumbled over, but rather, arrange them in some order.  It is this kind of small ceremony I am talking about.

These small acts of daily ritual appear in our relationship with the elements of nature.  Do you deadhead flowers in the containers on your deck, finding yourself quietly appreciating their beauty while grooming them?  A little ritual for praising the earth.

Have you ever made a tiny boat of twigs and leaves to set upon a flowing stream, just to see how long it would last, and then realized that its distance traveled was a mirror of something moving in your life?  Did you thank the water with a smile born from synchronicity? A little ritual for joining with water. 

Do you sometimes find yourself in a moment so awe-filled that your spontaneous response is to inhale deeply and stand as still as you can while you exhale slowly, gradually becoming aware that everything is breathing with you?  A little ritual for acknowledging air.

Have you ever asked a fire to do a special task of baking or clearing, and found yourself unexpectedly offering a gift of song or words to the flames?  A little ritual for feeding fire.

Craig Childs writes about such gestures, that they are each "the remembering of a code, a single word of an ancient language. These become like a map of trails through hazardous territory."

Sometimes the hazardous territory is our mind--our fearing for our future.  When we notice these small acts of honouring, when we attend to them, make much of them, we discover that ceremony is communication, and that these little rituals for nature are an Oracle that can guide us to balance.  With balance comes equanimity--a quality of mental and emotional equilibrium with all that is. And from equilibrium comes true even-mindedness, rather than worry or indifference, with regard to the future.