Monday, March 19, 2012

The Rituals of Everyday Life

I had a dream there were
clouds in my coffee ....
My daily life is composed of a series of micro rituals, little events that I perform every day.  I don’t think they’re compulsive behaviors.  A compulsive behavior suggests doing something out of need, whereas in my case, I actually enjoy the events, not for magical purpose, just because they make my day pleasant.

The dogs know the rituals as well.  When I stir in the morning, I let The Rockstar out of his crate so he can snuggle on the bed until it’s time to “really” get up.  Right before we do get up, I do a big wake up stretch, which is a cue to the dogs to creep up to the top of the bed where I distribute kisses, belly rubs and scritches.  Their fur is soft and I can tell the position in which they’ve slept because they’re warmer on that part of their body.  I like the way they smell at that time, a little dusty and they even have morning breath, which isn’t as awful as it sounds.  We all stretch again, they shake off and step off the bed.  They glance back at me, tails softly wagging and an open mouthed smile, eager for the day to begin. 

“Think there’ll be squirrels today?” they seem to ask.

I’m pretty sure there will be - which makes every day a banner day for them.

The next ritual is coffee, dark roasted and fragrant.  Once it’s made it, I pour it into one of my favorite mugs.  It’s actually a “hand me down” from my sister, pretty, mustard w/ orange flowers on it.  I really like the tulip shape, which is funny considering it has poppies on it.  It’s footed.  It reminds me of my sister, her exquisite taste and generosity.  I pour the coffee, then the half and half.  I like half and half rather than milk because it makes beautiful cloud patterns, so I never stir it.  I pour and watch the billows drift and merge until the coffee turns light, and then I drink it, wrapping my hands around the curves of the mug rather than using the handle because I like to feel the shape of the mug and the warmth on my hands.

I put on my make-up.  I’m reminded of my mother and it makes me smile.  I’m looking more like her as I get older.  I put on foundation, powder, eyebrows, and I see myself echoing her gestures, but with modern tools.  I use brushes whereas she uses puffs and sponges.  When I’m done, I look a little less like her, but not intentionally.  I just don’t use black liner or red lipstick for daily wear.

The Rockstar and I take our walk.  We’re both environmentally oriented, he with scents, me with sights.  I wait when he finds particularly interesting smells, and he waits while I take pictures. When either of us are finished we look at each other, smile/wag, as if to ask, “ready?” and then we continue.  If we go one route, The Rockstar slows as we round the corner and then looks at me.  He knows that’s where I’ll pause to look at the mountains, if it’s a clear day.  When we go by a particular fence, I’ll slow because I know he likes to look for squirrels there.  When we cross the street, we pause so he can sniff the long grass and I can gaze across the street at the field where there are deer sometimes.  We continue through the park looking for squirrels and other interesting things.  When we do find something, we exchange excited looks. 

“Did you see THAT?”

I like that even though we’re different species, we both share in those moments and enjoy each other’s reactions and company.

At night, after dinner, the Wee One likes to snuggle.  When he sees my husband go to the couch to watch t.v., the Wee One literally leaps onto the couch with him, which can result in some painful landings since the Wee One weighs sixty-five pounds. The Wee One starts out on my husband’s chest, then usually winds up on his back between my husband and the couch, mouth open, dream growling as Baby Cujo.  It’s one of the high points of Wee One’s day.  Both my husband and the Wee One are wiggle worms, so it’s nice to see the two of them quiet and cuddled together.

At the end of the night, we all, husband and dogs, go upstairs and everyone piles onto the bed to watch a little more t.v., get scritches, and talk and laugh.  I like all of us there together on that big bed.  I still see the hole where the Uber Hundus would’ve been, but we’re all there.  I like doing the mental roll call, seeing that we’re all together safe and sound, our little family, snug as bugs in a rug.  It’s a good place to be when the zombie invasion happens.  Everyone is comfy.  Everyone is loved.

And tomorrow it starts over again.

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