Archive for April, 2010


My Mother's Lilacs 2008

My mother was a fairly flexible person, certainly not strict.  But when it came to holidays, there were traditions that had to be followed.  My sister and I would chime “Tradition!” from “Fiddler on the Roof” while preparing the relish tray for Christmas Eve.  Looking back now, it was amazing we didn’t get booted out, but my mom did have a great sense of humor.

The funny thing is, those traditions are what I live for on holidays.  I don’t follow them as elaborately as my mother did, and I have added a few of my own, but they’re what make a holiday a special day.

In the same vein, rituals were one of the elements of organized religion I found boring and meaningless.  Today I find them significant and reassuring. 

I’m sure this comes from getting older.  I see it less now as something to cling to than something that enriches our life.  The beauty lies in being able to choose which traditions and rituals we honor and not being forced to practice them.  They must speak to our heart and soul and not be performed in a rote manner.


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