When I was growing up in Geneva, there was a certain rythm to the week. One of the things I knew for sure, no matter what, was that Sunday night was family dinner night. Spaghetti with home-made tomato sauce, more specifically. My mother would cook the tomatoes on low heat all Sunday long, then peel them, add rosemary, salt, pepper, cook them some more, and then finally boil the water for the spaghetti. Any family member, immediate or less immediate, who was in Geneva on Sunday nights was invited, wordlessly, and would show up. That was our Sunday evening ritual. The sun rises every morning. And spaghetti is served at my Mom’s house every Sunday night.
Knowing that every Sunday night would be about family, friends, and spaghetti with tomato sauce gave me a sense of comfort, of control, of safety. To me, that is what a ritual is all about.
Ever since leaving home in 1995 for college, I have been trying to find my own rituals. I am a creature of habit, yet I travel all the time and have such an erratic schedule that rituals have been more challenging than I imagined. But I have managed to develop a few, which mean so much to me. The most important one is the weekly phonecall to my three sisters, my parents, and my two grand-mothers. I wake up on Sunday morning, make coffee, and before anything else make these seven phonecalls. Every Sunday. No matter where I am (time zone permitting of course). Then, no matter what else happens, I have a good Sunday. Every Sunday, every Sunday morning.
What is your favorite ritual? I would love to know…