10.20.21 Newsletter: The Magic of Ritual

Here is your idea du jour for a

Little Dose of Happiness and Conversation

My sister Meg is creative and artistic and is always coming up with projects for herself that she finds both meditative and beautiful. Like this pumpkin project + sharpies. I prefer the black and white only versions. What about you? Blu

e and white; red and white; all shades of pinks and mauves?


We humans find comfort in rituals…they are touchstones in our ever changing, ever stressful lives. I cherish my morning ritual of lighting candles in a dark room, meditating, sipping coffee, and relishing the calm before the storm and the noise of the day begins. I am always a bit saddened when the darkness gives way to the light, and this sacred part of the day is consumed by the inevitabilities of daily


(rit-u-al) noun


: done as part of a ceremony or ritual

: always done in a particular situation and in

the same way each time

I am trying to be more aware of the charm, the nostalgia, and special gifts of rituals. Recognizing the ritualistic nature of an activity has the power to elevate something ordinary into something extraordinary. Making coffee, writing down your to-do list for the day, selecting what earrings to wear. Simple pleasures, simple daily rituals, simple activities not to be taken for granted. Acknowledging the ritual of things romances the ordinary and can even help us reframe a chore or an obligation into something a bit more, well, romantic.

So this morning, before I call Expert Chimney to clean out my kitchen and office fireplaces, put together my new metal log rack to replace the one that finally disintegrated over time, locate my ash bucket in the chaos of the garage, go to the hardware store for fireplace matches and stack the firewood by the back door…….

I will take a moment to appreciate the seasonal ritual of it all. Not just a list of chores and things to do, but a loving readying of fireside season. Preparation for cozy chats, woodsy fragrance, companionship and hygge to the extreme.

I won't deny the difficulty of transforming taking out the trash into a charming ritual, but how about ritualizing that first batch of chili or chicken and dumplings of the season? Custodial, daily cooking I usually find tiresome…but a dining ritual of that first pot of potato soup. Mais, oui! My crowd favorite recipe (below) for chicken and dumplings is from AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN