We would walk there in the mornings on our honeymoon, hand in hand, basking in the joy of being newly married. The traffic whipping by us, the smell of the beach not far behind us, we felt as though the world had nothing on us. The walk was less than five minutes, and we’d arrive at our breakfast place.
Even then, I found the name indescribably comforting. I am a person who derives great comfort and satisfaction from just that–little rituals. That this had become such a ritual for us was no coincidence.
That memory ran through my head as I meandered down the sidewalk with Elizabeth today. Our daily afternoon walk to get the mail, with cards to send off as well, we basked in the beauty of the coming evening. I felt such joy and comfort as she held tight to my finger waking along side me. It was precisely these moments, these emotions, I had wondered at the possibility of feeling before he left. But it is possible. And that brings me additional comfort.
Waking in the morning and drinking my coffee while she eats, as the morning sun shines through the windows. Naptime, and the quiet in the house as I clean. Cooking dinner for the two of us, as the evening sun envelopes the kitchen. Bedtime with its prayers and stolen giggles and kisses. These little rituals each day bring us comfort, bring us joy, bring us hope. We continue through our days, striving for something great, something far away yet always slowly coming. We work and do our chores for the same reason. Because some day, he will come home. Because each day that we fill with joy-filled tasks and comfort-infused moments are days that are successful, days that somehow bring him greater joy. Because he knows we are living happily, even in his absence. For we who are left at home, living days like this make us feel closer to him, make us feel as though we are fighting for him.
Tonight, as the evening sun shines lazily in the sky, I write letters, pen notes to Baby in my journal, listen as my little one falls asleep. Quiet. Comfort. Joy. Little Rituals, in his absence. In his honor.