I place a great deal of value on rituals. There are some things whose ways are timeless.
Rituals bring with them a sense of place; a level of comfort.
The frying pan in the photo is symbolic of ritual. Suzanne gave me this pan thirty-three years ago. It cost over $100 in the 1980. We were in an artisan gift shop in Amherst NH when we spotted it. It was handmade by a local blacksmith. It is ten inches in diameter and one and a half inches deep. The hand-forged handle is twisted into a heart. I loved it when I spotted it, but I didn’t buy it.
A few months later I returned to buy it, and the shop was no longer in business. Sometime later, perhaps it was Christmas, or my birthday, Suzanne gave me a lovely package. When I opened it I was thrilled to find the hand-forged frying pan that I had longed for.
This pan resides on the back burner of my cooktop. It was there for over 20 years in my old house, and now that we’ve moved, it has spent the past nine years in the same spot. It is well-seasoned. It is always wiped clean with a paper towel and perhaps some kosher salt. That is part of the ritual. It has never been desecrated by detergent and water.
This pan has never been used by Suzanne, because Suzanne doesn’t prepare breakfast. Our ritual is that I prepare breakfast, and this pan has one purpose and one purpose only. I use it for frying eggs and for omelets. Never ever has it seen a scrambled egg or anything else. Every morning I stumble down the stairs, and my ritual begins. I turn the dial on the front burner, slightly past the 3 setting and bring the pan to life; then I turn on the coffee. By the time the coffee has brewed the pan is the optimal temperature for butter and eggs.
Life in this modern world is filled with complexity that brings stress to every day of our existence. Savor the rituals in your life, that bring order, calm or comfort to your day. If your typical day lacks a ritual or two, look for opportunities to create some. They can add richness to every day of your life.