The rising sun is invisible yet behind the eastern slopes, but the orange glow is reflected on the nearly leafless treetops on the western hilltops. Trying to stay mindful on my long, quiet drive into work, I take in the sights around me.
Slowly we approach the move to our new home. I want to call it a homestead, but it is not that. Nor are we homesteaders. But what shall we call it? It is more than a home, even now, in its neglected state.
We have continued to encounter difficulties, sometimes stacked up like an insurmountable wall. As we have overcome each obstacle, another has quickly taken its place. We are making progress, but not enjoying the sense of it.
But soon we will be residing at our new home – sleeping, eating, and bathing at least. Slowly we will be bringing in our personal belongings, the ones that remain relevant to our needs. The others will be donated or disposed of, depending on their condition.
Our rental home has presented its own set of problems. We have had to deal with the mold – this thick, white, growth that has bloomed over the past 8 months in the dampness of the little house in the hollow under the trees. Our health has suffered from the cold and damp and mold, as well as our personal belongings. But soon enough we will be free of it. We will be presented with the drying heat of a wood stove at the new home.
But even camped out on the floor with a useful collection of winter clothes, we will be HOME. The challenge of organizing a kitchen for making home-cooked meals (something that has been mostly dropped for the time-saving convenience foods) will surely make it real. For what better way to christen our new home than the smell of home-baked bread?
I feel there should be more ceremony or celebrating as we move into our home. Accomplishing such a goal as this deserves a moment of recognition, don’t you think? But finding something meaningful and authentic to me is a challenge. I crave sacredness and ceremony, something I dimly remember from my Catholic childhood.
Today we are celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, for those of us in the US. Another holiday that has lost its authenticity and soul to mindless over-consumption. This year I will not be sharing a homemade meal with my family, I will be packing and moving and transitioning.
But I so dearly want to pause and acknowledge the abundance in our life. To take a moment to consider all that we have been blessed with and are thankful for. I want this holiday to have meaning for my children. A ceremony that they can carry forth into their adult lives.
We will gather for a meal, light a candle, and consider our joys. It might not look like the ceremony that is presented to us year after year by the media. But it will have meaning.
Perhaps it is the intention behind an act that has more potency than the act itself?
“Ceremony . . . is typically magical, creative, and healing, and provides a bridge between the material and spirit worlds. It’s a felt demonstration of how the power of the universe works, and it provides an excellent way to honor all those events in our lives that we want to sanctify. Participating in sacred ceremony helps us bring our being into alignment with the natural flow and rhythm of life.
~ Sacred Ceremony by Steven Farmer
Jade Wah’oo Grigori, a shaman and ceremonialist from Sedona Arizona sums it up admirable:
‘Ceremony is the intentful construction of the bridge which spans the barriers that we’ve created between our soul and our mundane life.
~ In gratitude and ceremony,