New Fire ElementI’ve been doing an evolving form of ritual for my clients for several years now.  For whatever reason, it had not occurred to me to perform that same ritual for myself.  This morning as I headed out to the labyrinth, I started thinking about the antique copper bowl I bought yesterday to create the Fire element in the fountain near the entrance to the labyrinth.  I quite liked this sweet little bowl, so I headed in to the cottage to retrieve it.

Yesterday when I brought it back to the cottage, I had placed seven small pieces of fossilized whale bone on a bed of Hawaiian black sea salt in the bottom of the copper bowl and placed the votive candle holder on top.

I brought out this new Fire element, the smallest of the singing bowls and the SpiralVision spray to complete the basic ritual.

I stood at the entrance of the labyrinth and rang the singing bowl, its quiet song rippling out to whisper to the trees.  Then I turned and lit the candle in the fire circle.  Breathing in the slightly acrid scent of sulphur from the match and then that lovely soft scent of beeswax from the candle, I could feel my body settle down and ready itself for the walk.  I spritzed the SpiralVision spray above my head and let the tiny molecules drift slowly down like a gentle mist, delicately scenting my body and the air around me.

I had not realized just how much the ritual settles the spirit before the walk.  It almost felt like a walk before the walk, if that makes any sense at all.  My breath slowed, my vision cleared and my body began to buzz in anticipation.

Feeling the cool heart stone beneath my feet, I felt calm and exhilarated at the same time.  I stepped into the labyrinth and began walking.  Its magic always starts immediately for me, but I’d become almost immune to it.  I’ve walked this pattern almost daily for three years.  So much so that I feel like much of the time, I’m actually in that state of grace that previously I only found on the labyrinth.  This is a marvelous thing, but I’d been missing that extra thrill that had originally come with walking the labyrinth.  So, this, the ritual, brings it back, that thrill, that soft joy.  Or rather, it amps it up.  It’s always there.  I didn’t think it would be possible to “get used to” the sensation, but I have.  It’s my normal way of being.  This, this next new level, feels softer, more subtle than before, but also deeper.  It’s also funnier.  I find that I laugh at myself almost continually these days.  So when I noticed that I’d gotten “all serious,” I busted up laughing and started to skip through the maiden.

And that reminds me of my favorite Hafiz poem.

God and I
are becoming like two giant fat people
living in a tiny boat,
bumping into each other
and laughing.

I’m laughing more than ever before, delighted and surprised by the smallest and largest of things.

What makes you laugh?  What are you delighted by?  What simple pleasures bring you back to wholeness?