Rituals have always been a part of my life. From hot baths to slow walks in nature, finding ways to relax and recharge has been my strategy for coping with stress. Today has been unsettling particularly as I think about my personal safety as well as the well-being of those around me who may be targeted for being different. So, I reflect on the times that I spent in rural South Carolina wandering through the pastures and woods near my Aunt Yvonne's childhood home. The pace was slow there. The grass seemed just a little bit greener and the bugs screeched just a little bit louder there. We were in the middle of nowhere (country road ~5 miles from the main town of less than 3,000 people). So why would I willingly go visit this place? I was drawn to the slow pace and relaxing environment. There was time to lie around reading books or to go exploring in nature. It was the perfect place for an introverted person like me as there were not other kids besides my little cousin to disturb my peace. The ritual of eating, wandering and sleeping was a great counterbalance to the hectic schedule of a child athlete and AP student. I still use rituals to get me through tough times. Right now, aromatherapy, massages, writing, and bubble baths are bolstering my resilience. But my true strength comes from the knowledge that my ancestors survived the unimaginable to produce me so I will not be moved. I hope that you will stand strong and find activities that feed your soul during these uncertain times. ~Namaste
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to the body and soul.
---John Muir, Yosemite 1912