The Space of Rituals
Every day, I kiss him goodbye at the back door of the farmhouse before pushing the door shut tight behind him. I make my way across the galley kitchen, through the living room, into my office – a trip of 15 strides or less.
Then, I open the front door, stand behind the glass meant that keeps out storms but not stink bugs, and wait.
It’s our ritual.
As I wait, I see how the wedding mums have started to fade – the honeymoon’s consequence.
The trees at the bottom of the farmyard illustrate, as if planned by the most creative and enthusiastic of third grade teachers, the stages of fall – just yellow, the orange-yellow of the dogwood, the bare spindle branches of the persimmon.
The chicken coop door stands empty still, waiting for us and Dad to resume now that the wedding work has faded.
I catch glimpses of Lee the tractor as he poses in the lower pasture.
All this in a few moments – a minutes, maybe two.
The gift of ritual – the space it creates to see, to breath, to wait. The preparation of a moment. The air around time.
Like lighting a candle. Or closing his eyes before turning on the computer screen. Or standing at a storm door waiting to blow her new husband a good-bye kiss.
Andi Cumbo-Floyd is a writer, editor, and writing teacher. She blogs regularly at her writing website – andilit.com – and the website for God’s Whisper Farm. Her book about the principles in place at their small Virginia farm is God’s Whisper Manifesto. She just got married in September, and she plans to blow her husband Philip a kiss every day for the rest of their lives.