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We all have our own personal rituals;
we all have our own unique quirks
that have meaning for us which we repeat,
because they give our lives balance,
because they connect the dots in our mind
to where we need to be;
we all have our own habits and routines
that are seemingly monumentally crucial;
we all have our own ways of being
that say to the world ‘this is me’.

Some people can’t think straight, nor concentrate,
without their first cup of tea or coffee every morning;
some people feel lost and unable to function
if they don’t have that first sight of the sun,
that sings to them with the power and the voice,
and the music of their favourite artist or band performing.
Some people find it hard to get out of bed
without having something out of their reach
to take a necessary, vital, step towards;
some people feel at their best when everything makes perfect sense,
because everything we see and feel conforms
to the structures of perfection and bliss that we know,
which we take the time to build and keep standing every day
like a house of cards.

Familiarity is very important.
Our trust in what we know works for us every time
is something we hold on to tight-
walking the same route that we know,
wearing the same clothes that we feel comfortable in,
going to the same places over and over again
that like a ghost we regularly haunt,
becomes not just something that we do, but a way of life.

It is fascinating to observe, and to see in my own reflection,
what we all do, and why.
I love glimpsing a idiosyncrasy that I have never seen before-
whether it is one of someone I have never met,
or one of my own that I couldn’t hide, disguise,
or say I do not do it for a reason, because that would be a lie.

Some rituals are hereditary-
passed on from father to daughter, or from mother to son;
some daily routines of ours are like rites of passage for us,
and feel more to us than a simple custom.
Some rituals come slowly to us and grow naturally with us,
and are things that we look forward to doing-
like sitting in a coffee shop writing,
or going to the cinema to watch a movie,
or returning to our favourite shops,
or going back to the places where we have the strongest memories
and the happiest of recollections,
or eating your favourite meal at your favourite restaurant
at your favourite table, with your favourite people,
or going to a concert to listen to your favourite music.

Rituals are a daily prescription for everyone,
rituals are our key to deciphering
the finer details of life’s blueprint,
rituals are what people sometimes remember us by the most-
like a part of our aura that stays with people,
like a characteristic residual.
Rituals are what makes us human.
Rituals are there always in everything and everyone.
Their is no one alive now that I know and see
every second of every day who doesn’t have a ritual.

While I lay in my bed the previous night,
a blanket of fog had risen and had covered my home;
while walking the streets and the lanes of my village,
in the early hours of the morning,
details and landmarks were obscured to me-
it was like everything was covered in foam.
The mist before me was thicker than I had seen in a long time-
it was as if my home was floating in the sky,
surrounded on all sides by cloud,
with the light of lamp-posts dimly shining like stars in a line.
It felt like I was not only walking around my home,
but also walking the pavements of my own misty mind-
the cold of the morning had stolen my thoughts,
as the fog had stolen my vision-
making me effectively blind.

There was no wind, but the air all around was bitterly cold;
there was no frost to be found on the ground,
but it felt like I was at the North Pole-
if it were not for my coat, my scarf,
and the fact that I never stopped for a second,
I believe that I would have been frozen to death;
and if it were not for the sound of my own foot-falls,
I would have thought that I had gone deaf.
There was no one to be seen, and this was 8.30 in the morning;
I found myself missing the sun more and more,
every minute without it felt like we hadn’t had a proper day’s dawning.

The green fields that I rambled across could still be seen under-foot,
but from a distance you could be forgiven
for mistaking them for ghostly-white-
no rabbits to be spotted emerging from their burrows,
nor any birds to be witnessed above in full-flight.
It was like everything- all life, but me- was frozen below the surface,
or still tucked-up in their bed;
while I carried out my morning ritual, as best I could
considering I couldn’t see what was ahead.

As soon as I reached the tree-line of my favourite wood,
a smile came across my face at the sight of this special place to me;
for reasons so complex and important I cannot describe, if only I could;
however, what I can say is that the trees that inhabit this forest
have an energy to them that I have felt no where else-
every time I come back, I feel like I can just be myself.

As soon as I walked among the trees,
the sound of life returned to my ears, and I felt free-
the smell of the trees, the sound that they make when they sway;
the wing-beats of a hawk flying through the trees-
overcame my own personal fog, and got inside of me.

As I stood there,
taking in everything that my senses would allow me to comprehend,
as sunlight streamed in and bathed me in light so clear and energizing,
I thought that I could stand there forever through every element
and season of nature until my end.

Every time I come back to this place
the experience is even more moving and profound than the last-
rain, snow, or sunshine,
wet, freezing, or baking in warmth,
the time that I spend here is just what I need-
it never goes too slow, or too fast.

When I exit the forest, and return to the outside world,
blue-sky and bird-song is everywhere around me,
and there is the faintest aroma of a cooked English breakfast on the breeze,
as leaves before me twist and swirl.

All is right with the world again,
and all is right again with me.
I have a smile on my face,
I can think clearly,
and I can see.

I think about the woods, the trees, the fields,
and how lucky I am to live where I live,
what it all means, and how when I am here I never feel alone-
and I thank my parents for raising me in this place of perfection-
the Centre of England- so that I may call it the place where I belong,
the place I love, and the place where I shall always call my home.

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