Bitty Rituals for the In-Between
v.21 | Including a few of my favorite fall recipes.
Summer ended in a whisper yesterday here in the Northern Hemisphere.
And, like all endings, the changing of a season precipitates transformation. Time moves differently, and light changes its wavelength, too. As we move from summer to fall, from fire energy to air, we practice both a letting go of what was, and an opening to what is. Below, a few micro-rituals for honoring the transition.
In balance and change,
Next week marks the Jewish New Year, and I love the tradition of eating apples dipped in honey as spellwork for a sweet new year.
I also like to brew a cuppa cinnamon apple tea, and drink in the protection and wisdom of fall’s winds —
Grate 1/2 inch piece of ginger (more if you like extra kick). Place the ginger and 1 cinnamon stick in a pot. Cover with 3 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 7 minutes. Meanwhile, chop or grate 1 sweet apple. Add the apple to the brew, and simmer for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and wait 5 minutes. Strain, sweeten to your liking, add lemon juice if it suits you, put on some cozy socks, and sip away.
These cookies are super simple to make, I pinky promise (I’m a terribly impatient baker and wouldn’t do you dirty). Plus they’re vegan, gluten-free and frikkin’ delicious. I don’t give amounts for the spices - a sprinkle will do, as will a full teaspoon. You know your taste buds best. Pair with chai or apple tea.
We begin every practice with sun salutations. And we close the cycle of practice with śavāsana, or rest. What if we (gasp) skipped right to rest? Teachers wiser than me have proposed that embodying śavāsana fully prepares us to better face endings off the mat: we wake up rested, present, and fully alive.
The best part? It’s so simple. Set a timer - 3 minutes is great. 20 minutes is super. Lie down on the mat (or take a comfortable seat), close your eyes if it feels safe, cover up to stay warm, and lay (or sit) quiet and still-ish until the timer dings. Add music, props and candles as desired and needed.
Barbara Ehrenreich is one of my intellectual heroes known for deconstructing and reframing age-old cultural myths. She passed away at the beginning of the month, and I keep coming back to her wisdom about the ultimate ending:
“You can think of death bitterly or with resignation, as a tragic interruption of your life, and take every possible measure to postpone it. Or, more realistically, you can think of life as an interruption of an eternity of personal nonexistence, and seize it as a brief opportunity to observe and interact with the living, ever-surprising world around us.”
In Buddhism, contemplating one’s own death (maraṇsati) is a key tool for awakening. If that feels morose and out of reach, I find that even a few moments honoring deceased loved ones, inspirations, and idols resources me to navigate transitions with more ease and tenderness.