Monday, January 16, 2012

Common Miracles: Week #36

 “Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.”
–Pema Chodron

Few things bring out my contented side quite as much as my rituals. (I know, what a knob.) But truly, morning and evening, the routines of my day bring quite a bit of joy.

The one thing that can drag me out of my bed at 0-dark-30 is the ability to stumble into the kitchen and give myself up to the putter and shuffle. Half autopilot, half Wallace-and-Gromit breakfast machine, there are times when I think the oats and egg muffins and all the additional bits and pieces could almost make themselves. But then I would miss out, and it's one of my very favorite parts of the day.

Flipping the switch on the espresso machine, starting the water for the oats and the green tea (husband's answer to a hot drink, as he's not so into coffee), getting out the blueberries and oat bran and chia seeds... yes it's quite the little healthful blend, but that's not the point. Each has its place in the overall whole, and together they serve as the ideal entrance to my day. Whether it starts at 5 a.m., or 5:30 or 6 (or 6:30 as it was today; I know shockingly late, but it WAS a holiday, cut me some slack), all the little bowls and espresso containers and spoons and such line up and get ready for their task.

At the other end of the day it's a bit more relaxed. How clean do I leave my kitchen before heading to bed? Well, that would depend on the day and who you ask! But the last putter about the house is generally mine--dogs attended to, doors locked, lights out, heat down--enjoying the peace of the house. (Can I just say here that I still miss the Christmas tree lights. There is nothing like looking at a lit tree in a dark, quiet house. I could be persuaded to leave it up a lot longer...)

Part of me feels like a dweeb, admitting this behavioral tendency (there's probably something in the DSM-IV that applies...). But obviously I've gotten past that thought, and just today found myself reflecting on how much it suits me. It is peaceful and common and entirely miraculous.

Do you have any rituals that make you especially happy, or is it just me?!

To see how the Common Miracle project began, go here.


  1. Nothing dweeb about that...wonderful, the rituals of life.

  2. my cup of coffee out on the balcony when it's warm enough...a perfect way to start the day!

  3. My morning ritual is this: wake up, wash face & brush teeth, tidy bathroom, make my bed, uncover the birds and give them treats, feed cats, unload dishwasher (and on some days, start laundry/change linens, etc.) and THEN...
    happiness happens! I can finally make a cup of tea and bring it into my art studio, and while I drink it I check my email, read the news, and give myself a little time to read some blogs before I go outside to do my swim and tend to the garden.

    That first sip of tea every day is ALWAYS bliss- the only time I'm not happy is when I have to rush through it.

    But morning rituals = essential. Tom doesn't have a ritual, he sort of stumbles out of bed and grabs a giant glass of diet coke and goes right up to his office to work for several hours. It makes me a little bit heartbroken for him, in a way, that he doesn't have a nice way to wake up but he's not interested- he doesn't actually "tune in" until a few hours after he's up. Gracie's exactly like him (well, not the Diet Coke thing...)- she wants nothing to do with anything until quite a while after she's out of bed.


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