#SOLSC17:Ordinary rituals

The Slice of Life March Writing Challenge @ Two Writing Teachers – 31 days of  a writing community.

Some every day rituals exist to re-orient and anchor us, to let us know that however unpredictable and chaotic life can sometimes be, we can find our way back.

In the Spring and Summer, I garden.  There is something so healing about clearing flower beds, tending to new shoots, nurturing what comes up, and finding new space to start the cycle again.


Weeding, watering, pruning, planting: the rituals of gardening.  No matter what may be swirling around in my world or the larger world, the moment I don my gardening gloves and assemble my wheelbarrow and all its attending equipment (spades, trowels, fertilizer, seedlings), I know that just being out there working with the earth will set my mind at ease.  And, somewhere between getting myself organized for gardening and finishing up the job of the day, I find that I have settled my thinking, found the way out of a problem, figured out the next step in a journey.

During the school year, that ritual is often my almost-nightly salad making sessions.  I love assembling all the jewel colored items I can find in my refrigerator, and deciding which combinations of what to use.  Chopping, dicing, peeling, slicing: the rituals of salad crafting.  No matter what may be muddling my thoughts about what to teach, how to teach, and which students need what kind of help, the moment I begin working I feel a sense of calm and order restored.

And, somewhere between washing the lettuce and choosing the dressing, I find that I have plotted the way through the day ahead, and weighed out options and come to some decisions.

Spring, Summer or the school year, most often I find my way forward in the most ordinary way.


21 thoughts on “#SOLSC17:Ordinary rituals

  1. How beautiful, the ordinary. How comforting and reassuring. Taking time to appreciate it is a mindful practice I want to remember. Thanks for reminding me. I loved this ‘ordinary’ post!

  2. Our slice reminds me of why I like my OLW this year – routine. I so agree that it is in those rituals, like gardening that we settle and find calm and can figure out what is next. Your slice puts this idea into words so clearly. Happy Spring gardening!

  3. I think that is running for me – my body knows what to do and it allows my mind to settle, wander and focus. My most creative thoughts and A HA moments happen when I run. I think making dinner at night is the same. Thanks for sharing this idea. I will think more about my rituals and rituals in the classroom for students.

  4. We all have our little rituals that we use to clear our heads. Loved reading about yours– all of the brilliant colors and the satisfying “chops”– it’s more beautiful to imagine than most of my head-clearing activities!

  5. Love seeing your salad jars, and how they help you slow down and process through whatever’s needed. Keeping on doing those “ordinary” tasks brings good calm. Thanks for reminding, Tara.

  6. I understand what you mean about working in the garden, Tara. Somehow getting down and dirty clears the mind and all we can focus on is the job ant hand…weeding, fertilizing, planting. All cares and worries seem to disappear for that time.

  7. Isn’t funny how we become so ritualistic with our life as well as our career. We become creatures of habit, but often overlook the special habits we enjoy.

  8. I love my rituals too! I agree with you…it is comforting and grounding. I find some of my rituals, like read a book on a break, gives me something good to look forward and it helps me through the day/week/month!

  9. I garden on a small scale and your post resonates with me. Gardening also connects me with memories of my mother. Baking pies or cookies has the same effect in the winter months. Your salad fixin’s look wonderful, Tara! I’ve been enjoying simple salads this week with just fresh lime juice drizzled over them. I hope I can get good limes at home to dress my salads that way.

  10. I wish I could feel the same way about gardening. The rituals of our lives do steady us. I get that from walking. Maybe you could add walking Sophie to your list of rituals.

  11. I have such similar rituals. I garden during the spring and summer, bringing in a few plants for the winter and I never thought about my salad making–but I take great joy in putting together different salads. Thanks for the reminder. Spring is a few days away.

  12. Rituals–habits–keep us grounded and add much-needed symmetry to our lives. Lovely pictures. I, of course, cut open a bag and dump the salad kit in the bowl! You, of course, have a sense of my culinary skills!

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