There has been a dichotomy created between the sun and our movements as of late. Blazing all day and early evening, requiring layers of sunblock and a hat as we trail on. Our bodies sniff out the cast of other bodies of water, hoping to have them meet and cool. And in that tension, there is a feeling of beauty and normalcy. I wonder as we sip more water and peel off for snacks, what about these days and my own plans will the kids’ inherit?
Another storm rolled into Brooklyn this evening as we were getting ready for dinner. Penne pasta and garlicky spinach in plastic containers from our local place. A home sparklingly clean and thunder that had R counting its sound-steps to our home. “5 minutes. 3 minutes.” A use of her ever-growing mind with something she learned on a trip to Annapolis, Maryland a few weeks back to visit her grandparents.
When the storm got closer, I unconsciously channeled my own grandmother. Swaying my hips and tapping my red-painted toes, flicking off light after light. The cream cord to the air conditioner, the short grey cord to the blender, and the long black cord to air purifier all came undone. When I finished, my legs collapsed on the hardwood floor in my room as I made a call. And the kids tangled their legs on the couch with their ipads. When my call was done, the sound of the thunder got louder and with shriek-less kids, I sat still. My own body, criss-cross applesauce. I realized then that it was my grandmother who sewed that seed of quieting our bodies and our home for the storm. I only remember once or twice, but as an adult, I do this dance all too well.
Unlike my grandmother, when my body felt like it stood still in respect for the storm long enough, I lit candles at the dining room table and on the fireplace. The kids kept busy as I watched them take comfort in distraction. When they fell asleep, I pushed the windows open and felt the relief of the day with the sound of moisture dancing on cooled concrete—it is my favorite sound.
What rituals have you inherited?