Thursday, December 31, 2009

Encounters/The rituals of our lives

Happy New Year! We are about to depart for our traditional celebration with my mother-in-law, at which we toast the new year as it arrives in her German homeland (six hours ahead of New England). The candles throughout the house will be lit, including those on a wrought-iron pyramid that echoes the shape of a Christmas tree. She will dance a Viennese waltz with her son, my husband. Each of us will choose a candle on the pyramid, hoping it will be the one that lasts the longest. (Once upon a time, the candles were on a real Christmas tree, but she has given up that tradition for a live tree outside on her deck, sprinkled with tiny white lights that glisten through the snow that fell this morning.)

These familiar rituals shape our lives. What are yours?

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