Wednesday, April 11, 2007


It's been cold and snowing all day...which was nice because I worked at the garden shop and it was quiet, oh so peaceful and quiet. I felt like I had the best of both worlds. Outside the snow came down in fat, wet blobs. Inside, it smelled of hyacinth, lilies, roses, and dirt. I sat under a heat lamp and grow lights and was able to write a long overdue letter to a friend, then worked on a few Finding Water divining rods in my journal. It was quiet yesterday also (a pre-spring lull) and so after I finished up with everything that needed to be done, I sat down with a pile of bulbs and plant leaves and did a few pencil sketches in my journal. I learned a lot about 'Dwarf Elephant Ears', Eucomis, and other strange creatures in the process. I'm not usually lucky enough to have such luxuriously long-winded bouts of quiet time to do nothing but putter around with words and pencils between cups of coffee and window gazing...but I drank it up with great thirst. I've spent the past two days loving my job...and feeling like I am exactly where I should be in my life right now--what an odd and wonderful feeling.

I do believe that these days I am living my truth. It might not be glamorous (I wear jeans, a flannel shirt, and winter boots to work) and it might not make me rich or famous or anything even remotely special...but, between the garden shop and the children's bookstore, I feel very lucky, indeed. These days, my life feels saturated--with color and scent and ideas and fresh air and friends....
But okay...
The point of this post is not to blather on about how happy I am or how fulfilling my work has been, but to share a few sensory rituals that help to move me to a sense of safety and expansion (yep, this was one of this week's divining rods). I like the way those two words, "safety" and "expansion," fit together. They are such contrasting, contradictory words--yet they fit so well together. To feel safe, yet have room to grow--isn't that the feeling we are always after?

The Writing Ritual: Clean my writing room--including dusting, washing the floors and organizing my desk. Then light a stick of "Amethyst-Balance" incense (because it's warm and soft smelling). Light a candle. Close the blinds and turn on my paper star lamp. Brew a fresh pot of coffee and sit down in my warm cocoon to write.

The Relaxation Ritual: Run a hot bath and add calming oils (like cedar and lavender) or foaming bath salts (like ginger/mint). Light lots of candles. Play soft sounding global music. Soak, soak, soak while reading a good book. Afterwards, put on a cozy pair of fleece pajamas, crawl into bed, and read some more with a fresh cup of chamomile tea sitting on the shelf next to be. Then...fall asleep while reading.

The Nature Ritual: Put on warm, comfortable clothes and go for a walk to the flower garden. Once there, find an especially magical place to sit and write in my journal. When I'm finished, continue walking through the flower gardens--slowly--taking time to notice little tiny things (the shape of a leaf, the bark of a tree, the sky's reflection in water, the chitter of a bird...) and soak in its beauty.

The Morning Pages Ritual: Find slippers. Feed the cats. Make a cup of espresso with a little cream and sugar. Turn on the small salmon-pink lamp and snuggle up next to it at the end of the couch with a soft blanket thrown over my legs. Write in the dark, quiet hour of the morning--exploring my thoughts without expectation or distraction.

The Sunday Ritual: Hang out in my pj's longer than usual. Finally shower. Then pick up a copy of the Sunday paper and go out for breakfast with my husband for a late breakfast at the "Egg and I." Order the Mexican Skillet with a side of homemade salsa and a cup of coffee. Read the newspaper together, people watch, eat, people watch, talk, read the newspaper, talk, people watch, eat some more...Then do something fun before returning home (even if that just means running an errand together). This is the ritual my husband and I share. It is something that we do to "reconnect" with each other on a weekly (or almost weekly) basis.


krista said...

This made me long for a weekend without the kids.

Oh, how your rituals sound divine!

The Dream said...

I think i need to get a part-time gig at a flower shop. I would LOVE that so much. It has crossed my mind a few thousand times, so maybe I'll do it!

Sweet rituals - the bath thing and coffee thing ... well, of course I love that! It also warmed my heart to read of your Sunday ritual with your man. Yes, even with teenagers and a wacked out puppy, my man and I need to do this again.

Anonymous said...

Reading about your rituals is so inspiring, so calming.
Our writing rituals are a bit similar. I stumble over my meow-ing furbabies in the dawn to get to my coffeepot.And absolutely love finding my muse at my table that faces a huge bay window.
There is magic in your words that transport me to a seat right there with you.
Pour me a cup of that expresso please!

gkgirl said...

ahhhhh...i love the
relaxing calm nature of this post!
and some great ideas
to try to incorporate
into my own life...

bella said...

You sound like you're in a good space, surrounded by the things you love. You're post is so inspiring, my dear. I always love coming here to read you lovely words. ((hugs)).

deirdre said...

Your rituals sound just perfect. I'm in need of one myself - I may borrow one of yours.

acumamakiki said...

your rituals are so delicious. thank you for reminding me of what's important in this life.

The Dream said...

Filling up/feeling up ... hahahaha! You are so hilarious! Thanks for the sweet compliments on my new painting ... so sweet you are!

Hey, Leah nominated you - so where the heck is your Thinking Blogger logo? Come on now - DO IT!

tinker said...

These rituals sound so peaceful and did your writing about finding time to sit where you can smell the roses and lilies and earth, while you wrote. It sounds like a good place to be.

Laura said...

I absolutely loved reading these rituals, Jessie. Thank you so much for sharing them, the delicious, specific details!

Anonymous said...

oh jessie,

this post makes me so happy...i feel that you're on the verge of something really incredible...breaking through or something like are lovely as always.

have you read plant dreaming deep by may sarton? or journal of a solitude? most people liked journal of a solitude better, but i actually have an affinity for plant dreaming deep. i think you would like it. ~ ruby

Karen said...

Oh, I love your descriptions! There's a peacefulness that pervades it all. Sometimes things feel so hectic around here that I forget how peace feels...

Olivia said...

I agree with others that this post exuded peace and contentment and was smile-making and inspirational. Your rituals especially inspired me to think what my rituals are, how important and grounding they are, and to create new ones, too. Thanks, Jessie---a great post, as always!

eb said...

we share many of the same rituals - and such a delight to find this kindred spirit - you delight me in your mirroring of my most favorite dwelling places

xox - eb.

oh sweet ritual spaces...

Anonymous said...

I love your blog sooooo much that I nominated you for the Thinking Blogger award....check it out!!!

Kristine said...

Sounds quite wonderful.
I need to really think about the rituals in my daily life. Hmmm... Maybe I need more.

eb said...

this is my 2nd or 3rd time reading this post - I find it so comforting and the pink and the chocolate colors - mmmmmmmmm

I love your life

xox - eb.

kj said...

jessie, i love your sunday ritual. i'd order the same mexican breakfast.

i'm glad you are finding joy in all these ordinary things.

Susan Reynolds said...

These ritual ideas are like little gifts to me. Just reading about them is like a little retreat. My hat is off to you!

Maddie said...

words and pencils and cups of coffee

i just cannot get past this line!

the whole post left me feeling inspired
(as always)
and peaceful -
and wanting a bath!!!


Marie said...

I loved reading about your rituals. It was calming and gave me ideas of how to clear my space and make it more comfortable, especially the writing ritual....Thanks for sharing that and for supporting our blogs.
My husband and I go to Starbucks most every Saturday and Sunday morning, drink read our paper, people watch, and eat our Lemon cake..mmmmmmmmm..

Elizabeth said...

Hi Jessie. Thanks for saying hi on my blog - i have been sad to be away, but your comment cheered me up. I am now back online, a bit, and v-e-r-y- s-l-o-w-l-y----.
Really enjoyed reading this post. I'm glad you are in a good place, several places in fact! I've often thought that your 2 jobs sound just the perfect places for a creative soul to hang out whilst earning a bit of money: nurturing of soul and a good way to top up the creative well too. For me they would be like being on a permenant artsit's date... lucky you!!!
So glad to catch up again. Missed you, you beautiful person! E

P.S. - I didn't get the mural job in the end: they changed their minds, but hey-ho.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Jessie
I've just nominated you for the Thinking Blogger Award, check it out! :-) E

Melba said...

I just wrote you two emails and for some reason all the emails I sent this morning are not showing up in my sent file and my computer froze. Will you let me know when you get them?

I understand about everything my dear friend.

we Will meet some day I am sure of it!

bee said...

i miss you.