R I T U A L S

Well, ANZAC Day and Easter have both now passed for another year.  I’ve written before about nostalgia and the consistency and comfort of ‘home’.  This last week or two I have observed the solace we find in rituals in much the same way as nostalgia, and they are of course related.

The rituals around Easter are there whether you are religious or not.  They begin with the hot cross buns which seem to make their appearance in our supermarkets earlier and earlier every year.  I swear they were there before New Year’s Day.  We wouldn’t choose to buy stodgy bits of dough stuffed with raisins and currents at any other time (well….except maybe Christmas when we do the same thing with puddings), but it seems reasonable to do so in April.

Good Friday came, and as it approached, I found myself making sure we had enough seafood to get us through the day.  Why?  Do we even know why we abstain from meat on Good Friday anymore?  I for one have lost the meaning but not the desire to engage in the ritual.  So strange.

But the most exciting aspect for me this year was the plethora of Easter Egg hunts.  I was struck by the number of Instagram and Facebook posts by friends hosting Easter Egg hunts this year.  I need to remind you that my contemporaries are not parents of pre or primary school children but rather those in their 20’s and some approaching 30’s.  My husband thought I was a teeny bit mad when I came home from supermarket shopping with a stash of eggs for hiding, but it was clear to me that I wasn’t the only 50 plus-er engaging in the hunt shenanigans.  And I have no idea at whose insistence the hunts were happening (was it them or was it me?), but I do know that if we didn’t have one at our home, questions would have been asked.  Again, I have no idea what is behind the EEH but the ritual is fun, and I’m sure it will happen again next year.

Easter fun over and we had only two days post those holidays before ANZAC Day was upon us.  I had only recently visited the National Anzac Centre in Albany, WA and I would thoroughly recommend anyone else do so if you are in the area.  I suppose we’ve always engaged in the Anzac Day ritual as a family but this year having just read and learned a little more in Albany, it took on a little more meaning.  It was a glorious autumn day in Sydney, and while reported numbers were down a little, there were still hundreds lining the streets in the city to catch a glimpse of those marching.  It seems much more of a celebration now – with the descendants of veterans walking proudly wearing the badges of their loved ones.  Years ago it seemed more sombre.  I like the celebratory feel, and I am sure that the Anzac Day ritual of the march, followed by a few beers and some two up will continue for many years to come.  It felt good to be there and observe.  Just one more of the annual rituals helping to evoke many memories, thoughts, feelings and that sense of belonging that we all love.  They make us feel safe and certain about the future.

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