We all use repetition to structure our lives. Wearing the half-mask of routine, this is habit. Draw with the straight line of intention, it becomes ritual.
Ritual, axe edged with hope, splits the now equally between past and the future. Habit, for all its unconscious-ness, does not lack for emotion, only awareness.
Since joining the world in community isolation the erosion of our rituals has been as a rock rolling out of a cutbank into a long pool; singular, and because of our less divided attention, full of portent.
Friday afternoon my ritual walk downtown and back with the kids was as full of distraction as usual (top picture). 2 miles round trip, two errands, two hours. Training, both adult and child, for future wild walks. I explained why we could not go to the playground, why we had to stand 6 ice cream cones apart from others, why we couldn’t stay at the brewery for popcorn.
This morning, Little Bear and I went for a bike ride. Sunday mornings in our part of town are very quiet; the parking lots empty and rife for skill building. Our ritual has been to stop at the apex of our route for doughnuts, a tangible reinforcement for channeled energy. Today there was perhaps a bit less traffic than usual, and I explained the economics which had, sudden creeping and in plain sight, led the doughnut place and the bagel place to be closed.
Kids don’t think of it as such, but now we all must be wondering what can change such that life will have to be reinvented.