Ritual has been a part of daily life since the beginning of time and our grandparents were no different. We may believe that their lives reflected a series of habits, but in actuality, they were daily rituals that gave meaning to their existence.
Take a look at the average American farmer in the early 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. The simple act of rising each morning, and sharing a cup of coffee or breakfast before work was ritual.
The common act of where my great-grandfather, Arthur, hung his overalls, or taking a thermos to the tractor each day was ritual. It brought a sense of comfort and ease; it was a knowing habit.
The word "ritual" is most often associated with religion or spiritual practice, but my great-grandparents were not religious people. You would have never found a photo representing Christianity, or any other faith, in their home. And though my great-grandmother was a generous, loving woman, I do recall the day she said, "We don't believe in God."
My grandmother, who lived with them, found great comfort and amusement in entertaining the works of Edgar Cayce, the magic of nature, and other forms of divination. And the only time I ever saw her in a church was the day she buried her son, my father. It was she who passed on her belief system to me.
Yet, no matter our background, our personal philosophies, or spiritual beliefs, there comes a time when ritual is a necessary part of support. We reach out to those traditions that gave meaning to our lives from childhood. We may even choose a motion, a stance, or a group of words to bring new focus into the midst of our challenges.
In an act of telling the Divine that one does not always know the answers, that starting over is required, or help is needed with new possibilities, even my grandmother knelt to the Universe when she thought no one was watching. But I did.
And I use it myself. This morning, I shall enter that place I deem Sacred Space in the woods, and plunge my knees in the dirt, looking for divine inspiration. Trust me. I've never been disappointed, even in my impatience.
So if you're looking for a place to start over, a motivational nudge, or to relay the words, "Where Now?", find a place where Heaven meets Earth in your soul, and hit your knees.