Tuesday afternoon, upon returning from the classroom and arriving home, I step out onto my garden porch, and drink in the cloudless blue sky, the soft, barely preceptible breeze and the brilliant low sitting sun.
I have no clue what time it is, and thankfully so.
Norman, after enjoying a treat, lays on the porch absorbing the warmth from the south-facing vantage point, and his sleepy eyes express how my entire being feels. On a Tuesday. On a Tuesday that feels like a Thursday. Wasn’t yesterday Thursday? Hmmm.
The final Wednesday post of each month has been for nearly two years a post about what makes me smile, but today, just temporarily, I am taking today’s post to share with you something readers have requested, a post detailing my afternoon rituals. I will be sharing a few more of these posts – my weekend rituals, morning rituals, etc. – because . . . well . . . my rituals have been my lifeline in many ways. A way of letting me slip away from the stress, the uncertainty and helping me to stay even more present and appreciative of all that is lovely, delicious, and sensually pleasurable.
Below are afternoon/evening rituals I especially enjoy:
1.An Apéritif to separate the work day from the rest of the day
3. Pulling out a cookbook from the shelves and trying a new recipe, having picked up the ingredients on my way home.
4. Snuggling into my reading chair in my nook, lighting a favorite French candle, watching a favorite show or new-show-of-interest and relaxing in my dressing gown.
5. Tending to my evening skincare routine – the textures, the scents, the relaxation is splendid and restorative
6. Taking a stroll with the boys around the neighborhood as the sun sets and the neighbors are settling in. The lights on the houses all aglow is a cozy sight, and the fresh air helps sleep come quickly when I turn in.
7. Turning on sultry jazz, (Diana Krall’s latest album has been enjoyed lately), and going about cooking in the kitchen, sipping a glass of wine, tapping my toes and singing from time to time.
8. Stepping out into the garden, clipping a few blooms (when they are still in season) and bringing them inside for a simple bouquet
9. Pouring a hot cuppa, pairing it with a single chocolate truffle and bringing the day to a close.
10. A hot bath of bubbles
11. Writing any of the day’s thoughts, questions, worries, hopes and celebrations in my journal.
12. Connecting with a loved one, friend or kindred spirit for a chat to check in or just debrief the day, talk about the world, get to know each other
13. Snuggling with the boys
14. Leaving the kitchen clean and tidy before I sit down with my cuppa, so I can fully relax.
15. Reading a new magazine – The English Home, My French Country Home or anything that upon its arrival is a reason to celebrate and savor
16. Reading an article about food, France, Britain, or food. 🙂
17. Stepping out into the garden – to tidy up, taking time to tinker and weed a little bit, deadhead a little bit, assess how plants are doing and savor what is in season.
18. Simply watching the sun set
My afternoon yesterday continued to unfold with a long conversation over the fence with my neighbor bringing the sun down to the horizon we did with our sharing of our days, thoughts about the election, thoughts about life, past and present, society and before the day ran out of daylight, he set out for his evening cycle, and I headed back into my house realizing I needed to write this post, and savoring what I have the opportunity to do here on TSLL with readers such as yourself as well as what I had shared with my neighbor in our neighborhood.
That’s the gift given by our rituals: we let go of time. We just are. When we can cultivate more moments where the clock is dismissed, our attention is fully given and we relax into ourselves, our everydays elevate, and we begin to remember again what it is that makes life so amazingly special to be able to live.
Wishing you many wonderful afternoon and evening rituals to savor. Bonne journée.
34 Inspiring Daily Rituals to Ignite Your Creativity, episode #255