For several years my children and I enjoyed a special holiday tradition. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving every year we would paint river rocks with symbols representing an intention for the upcoming year. We each got 3 rocks. As we painted, we talked about our intentions and shared our ideas about our goals. Daydreaming, fantasizing, brainstorming, it was all a part of the ritual. We created some beautiful fold art and many wonderful memories. It was always fun as the New Year arrived and progressed to see our intentions come to fruition. They always did.
As my children became teenagers and I entered a second marriage, the tradition faced resistance. The new husband did not want to participate and the children lost their uninhibited expression of freedom. So for the next couple of years, I carried the tradition on in the form of a “Dream Giver’s Festival” with my writing friends. We gathered at my house around a camp fire to paint the rocks, then we would move into the teepee to do some writing.
Last year I left that new husband and I no longer had a teepee. I was displaced, both physically and emotionally. The rock painting tradition stayed sealed up in a box with all my other thoughts, hopes, and memories. No rocks were painted that year.
At a recent writing meeting, we all talked about how much we had enjoyed painting the rocks and agreed that we wanted to do it again this year. We talked about how the teepee was an accessory, not the essence of the meaning of the tradition. Simply painting the rocks and being together would be enough. So we agreed to meet at my house on New Year’s Day 2010.
I’ll provide the rocks, the paints and paint brushes. Everyone will bring a dish to share for a potluck meal. We will gather to paint and talk, laugh, write, dream and eat together.
I thought about how traditions evolve with our changing lives and circumstances, but like the core essence of who we are, traditions maintain a basic and essential element of their meaning.
January 1, 2010 @ 4pm
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