Ceremony

Nature’s beauty cannot be dissected nor understood through mere thought or system.  What fills your eye and then your heart is understood whole.  It’s more like a symphony—there is magic in the melding.

Each morning before I write, I light a candle or two in celebration of the new day.  If I have a bundle of white or purple sage, I burn a leaf or two and let the fragrance of its spirit cleanse my soul and body, and I offer a prayer to the Giver of Life.  When I lived in the West, I always had this mystical plant at hand.  I miss it in the Southeast where I now reside, and have not found a substitute—perhaps pine needles from the great long-leafed pines of this low, coastal landscape.

A writer-friend of mine, Byrd Baylor, wrote The Way to Start a Day which describes the ways that peoples around the globe greet the dawn of a new day. Here’s an excerpt.

The way to start a day is this —

Go outside and face the east and greet the sun with some kind of blessing or chant or song that you made yourself and keep for early morning.

The way to make the song is this —

Don’t try to think what words to use until you’re standing there alone.

When you feel the sun you’ll feel the song, too.

Just sing it.

But don’t think you’re the only one who ever worked that magic.

Your caveman brothers knew what to do.

Your cavewoman sisters knew, too.

They sang to help the sun come up and lifted their hands to its power.

A morning needs to be sung to.

How do you greet the day? No need to do it any particular way, in fact, you may even be unaware of how you are paying attention and feeling gratitude for this one good day.  Sometimes we are so wrapped in our individual challenges and tragic circumstances we forget to breathe, to look up and see the beauty all around us.  Create a tiny sacred space to recognize the gift of life and the wonder of nature and you.

2 thoughts on “Ceremony

  1. Carole

    I rarely greet the day, I just successfully escape from the bed that seems to hold me closer just before I need to leave it.

    But today, oh, today, I did great the day. When I pulled out of the driveway at 5:30 am the beauty of the waning crescent moon and what may have been Jupiter caused me to give a little gasp. As I waited for my friend to join me a rooster crowed, in the distance another took up the call, and then a third. It was still dark as they continued to greet the day and claim their territory. Arriving at our destination we waited in the fog as the first in a community of red-cockaded woodpeckers announced it was time to start the day. One by one the members of the colony awoke and called. Those that I could spot with my scope tapped their nest tree and collected the pine sap they use to protect their cavity from snakes. Then calling, they dispersed in search of breakfast.

    It was a glorious way to start the day.

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