This post is in honour of my Opa, Herman deKok, who died 5 May 1945, serving his country as a
Member of the Resistance against Nazi Germany.
May 5 is known as the ‘Day of Liberation’ in the Netherlands.
Daily ritual is more than brushing your teeth, fixing your hair and make-up. It’s more than the 3 S’s – shit, shower, shave.
It wasn’t until I began working at the new job did I realise the true importance of daily ritual and how I had taken my previous work situation for granted. Yes, the trains were annoying and smelly, the school kids were loud.
Working in the city enabled me to walk every day, walk through a park, and do my morning ritual (depending on the weather). I miss my daily walks through Hyde Park, getting off at Town Hall or St. James stations and walking through my city forest. I miss greeting the Gods at Archibald Fountain, trying to get there before 7am (which wasn’t a problem towards the end of my time there) as at 7am the fountain turns on and I don’t get the lovely reflection in the water.
I miss walking through my forest, and kicking my shoes off at my spot past the Oak and Fig to where I would perform my morning rite (which I will post at a later date) before recommencing my walk to work, feeling energized and invigorated.
I never realised how much my life would alter by transferring to a new project. I never realised just how much I took my walk, my forest, my routine for granted until I was faced with a situation where I didn’t feel comfortable performing it anymore. You would think that performing anything in the early hours of the city would be scary, but it’s scarier in suburbia. City folk have learnt to ignore anything they don’t understand, or don’t wish to see. I’ve been guilty of it. As much as I want to be able to house the homeless that live in Sydney’s city, I’m struggling to pay my own rent in this over-priced city.
Working in suburbia is very different. People in this particular suburb have money, and the overall feeling is that they don’t like anything different. They want to keep the overall vibe of the area the same.
There is a small park on a few streets away from my work, and I have tried to do my morning rite there, but it’s not the same. Parking, getting out of the car, not being able to wear slip ons to kick the shoes off, down to not being able to see the sun rise because of the two-storey houses lining the perimeter of the park.
My spot in Hyde Park looked over between high rise buildings to a brief glimpse of water and a rising sun.
I’m also finding that trying to begin a new routine at home is proving incredibly difficult. My altar is in my study (“my room”), the mosquitoes and other biting insects are out in the garden (not to mention the three stray cats we’ve unofficially adopted) and there is always housework or study competing for my attention. Like right now – I should be studying!
With Samhain now over, it’s time for me to continue with a daily practice at home as an extension of the ritual my friend and I performed over the weekend. The evening was phenomenal, I got more out of it than I could ever have imagined, and damn my friend is a fantastic cook!
Daily ritual is an underestimatingly important aspect our a Pagan’s life, and I am missing how connected my ‘old’ morning rite made me feel. It helps us to connect to what we believe, what makes our souls sing, and helps reiterate to ourselves that this is who we are, what we are, and what we believe in (especially married to an atheist).
Daily ritual helps us to grow as individuals, it helps deepen our practice, and helps deepen our connection to the universal energy we all connect to.
I hope that I can regain a morning rite, or something similar, through this new continuation of Samhain. I’m sure my Ancestors will assist me to finding what I need.
Until then, it was so amazing being able to energetically meet some of my great-grandparents who I have never worked with before (and who don’t necessarily agree with what I am – I told my mother this and she replied, “of course they don’t!”)
It was fantastic to see my Oma and Opa in a different situation to how we normally connect. As you can see, this post is dedicated to my Opa. Sixty-nine years today as past since his passing, but as I was continuously told over the weekend, “just because we died, that doesn’t mean we stop being family.”
And lastly, words cannot describe how good it felt to be able to hug Poppy Kook again, even if it was in a deep meditative state.