Rituals are carried out every moment of every day, all around the world. There are rituals for love and rituals for death. Rituals for good luck and for smooth sailing and for moving house. Rituals for planting a garden, rituals for entering adulthood.
How is it that specific, repeated actions are able to guide us through so many of life’s doorways? “Rituals provide comfort because they remind us we’re not alone,” reflects David Brooks, in a recent op-ed
. “Billions of people have done this before as part of the timeless passages of life.”
Rituals also demand that we pause and take stock. These “series of acts” are designed to mark “doorway moments”, as Brooks calls them, slowing us down as we transition from one phase of life to another, and inviting us to reflect on what’s most important. As Brooks also points out, the physical elements of ritual (lighting candles, eating particular foods, dressing a certain way) are a language in themselves—"a way of expressing things that are too deep for words.”
Do you have meaningful rituals in your life, dear writers? For this prompt, describe a ritual you partake in, and tell us why it’s important. Or, alternatively, tell us about a ritual you’d like to put into practice and how it would help you, or those you know, move into new walks of life.
For inspiration, check out the wonderful works of your fellow writers: "Guided by the Night Light"
by ashleykirantan; "Habit Forming"
by Kara Grace; and "Summers as a Ritual"
by The Sweet Shop!