Rituals can offer solice to everyday stresses

Published 10:18 am Wednesday, September 24, 2003

By By Connie Nowlin Managing editor
Where would you be if you could be anywhere?
It is perhaps one of the most telling answers in the human experience. Telling because it can encompass hopes, desires, wishes, memories.
Someone who has an answer right off the bat, without a thought, has that answer for a reason.
That place is tied up in their mind with some association.
For example, someone who says 'Paris' may have spent a honeymoon there. Maybe they are an artist, or writer, and long for the fabled arts community in the City of Lights. Perhaps they feel like there isn't enough support for their art at home.
Someone who says Hawaii or Miami may be dreaming of warm seas and long sunny days in which to play, may want a little time in which to be carefree, childlike. Maybe the load is too heavy.
And someone who says Nicodemus slough, or Yellowstone or Montana is aching for the wild freedom of those places. Maybe life has them a little trapped.
See, each answer offers insight into the mind and life of the person who gives that answer.
Of course, if the answer is 'the mall,' you know you are talking to a teen-ager.
It has been so long since there were little ones in my life that I have forgotten how things are done. It is hard to remember that when my girls were small, I was at home full time, and they were my job, that and running the house.
The most admired person on the planet should be the working mother who is able to get to everything, the cooking and shopping and cleaning, not to mention the other tasks that life requires, paying the bills, balancing the checkbook and taking the dog to the veterinarian.
I wish I could do what they do. The intentions are good, but the follow-through is lacking.
It seems that it is everything, all the time, and never enough time to go around.
I overheard a lady talking about walking for exercise, and how she and her walking partner go out shortly after 5 a.m.
A lot of people would hear that and think 'There is no way that I would get up that early to walk.'
I agree with them. Besides, it would interfere with the time I spend on the porch, listening to the world wake up and watching the sky turn light.
Somehow it makes the day go a little better, if you are there when it is born.
The point is, we all need some kind of seawall to shelter our souls behind. Some people find it in church, some find it in a walking ritual. And some find it with a good cup of coffee and a front porch swing.

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