What Rituals Have You Inherited?

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 concreteā€”it is my favorite sound. 

What rituals have you inherited?

9 thoughts on “What Rituals Have You Inherited?

  • Reply Susan Krzywicki July 22, 2020 at 11:06 pm

    Beautiful photo.

    Rituals are so comforting, aren’t they? Peace.

  • Reply Umi_mami_mom July 23, 2020 at 1:00 am

    Love this question/reflection. Unfortunately, as I really think about it, I don’t think any ritual has really stuck with me.

    • Reply latonya July 23, 2020 at 7:30 am

      thank you for reading and sharing.


  • Reply Rosalie July 23, 2020 at 9:02 am

    Your writing is gorgeous. I love this meditative look at an evening at home.

    • Reply latonya July 23, 2020 at 10:49 am

      thank you so much for reading, Rosalie. Trying to meditate on it all lately.

  • Reply Monica July 23, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    I love your ritual. I grew up in Lisbon with my grandma and she worked quite a lot. Whenever it rained in the afternoon and she wasn’t working, she would make us a hot cup of coffee and milk and we would go sit on the stoop of our apartment building and very quietly watch the rain. She always knew when it was going to rain, her bones told her =)

    • Reply latonya July 24, 2020 at 8:08 am

      oh, Monica. I love this! Also the bones! My grandmother too~~

  • Reply Leslie-Anne July 24, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    Whenever my family goes on a trip, either a long vacation or a shorter drive to visit family, we say a Mexican prayer for travelers that my husband learned from his Abuela. We say it in Spanish although he is the only one who speaks that language fluently. We’ve never missed doing it once since our children were born.

    • Reply latonya July 24, 2020 at 1:45 pm

      Leslie-Anne I love that!! When I was a kid, my grandmother used to say a prayer in the car (and over it) before we left on a long road trip. Such beautiful vivid memories. I love that he does this with your family and that it translates, even though you all don’t speak spanish fluently.


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