Two big things happened this weekend that really got me thinking about how I tend to mark my days. First, it was May morning, which in many traditional societies marks the beginning of summer and the bright, warm part of the year. In the Boston area, the folk/ritual dance community rises and “dances up the sun” at sunrise on May 1st (5:39 am here. It’s the only day of the year that I voluntarily get up anywhere near that early). We sing, we dance, wind ribbons around the maypole and generally rejoice that the winter is gone. This ceremony mimics those that have been done on England for centuries. Coupled with the New England Folk Festival last weekend and Lilac Sunday next weekend, it’s functioned as the end of one season and the start of another.

Additionally, we had a massive water pipe failure here on Saturday, and 2 million people in Boston were under orders to boil their water. Havoc reigned yesterday when people couldn’t get their morning coffee because Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts didn’t have the water to make it. Many people’s morning rituals were put akilter. While I don’t drink coffee (tea is the nectar of the Gods), it also put a crimp on my personal routines also. I didn’t do my meditations, and I was generally off.  Thank God the water has been played as of this morning!

Finally, I was at the Living Soulfully group in Boston (for gay men to continue their personal development started at Easton Mountain programs), and Bob Bruillard led a session on what lessons we can learn from our ancestors. In it, Bob stated that ritual is a way for us to mentally separate one experience from another. It allows us to close a chapter and start anew. It marks our days and accomplishments.

In Boston, we are now entering the times of college graduations. Students will be marking that they have accomplished something great, and looking for the next steps. For all of us, taking notice of our achievements and intentionally saying that we are moving on is a healthy way of mentally clearing our mind and moving forward.

What are you noticing and marking today? What are your rituals?