The following poem is taken from 'Poems on the Underground' :
Loving the Rituals
Loving the rituals that keep men close,
Nature created means for friends apart:
pen, paper, ink, the alphabet,
signs for the distant and disconsolate heart.
Palladas (4th Century AD)
trans. by Tony Harrison
The ritual of letter writing might not be as prevalent in our lives as it was, but we have other rituals, don't we? We might call them habits... although if there's something comforting in them, an aspect of the activity that gives us something - pleasure, delight, comfort - then perhaps we should refer to them as rituals.
At the risk of sounding ridiculous, I've got into the habit of picking up my cat in the mornings and looking out of the window with her. We look at birds, clouds, the neighbours leaving for work. I can feel her heartbeat under my palm. I feel very still.
I have a ritual of never leaving the house without kissing my husband goodbye.
When he worked as a professional entertainer and got home in the early hours of the morning I used to leave out a china mug, with the teabag and sugar already in it, and the kettle ready to boil.
I think we need rituals of some kind in our life, and while they can be religious or spiritual, I don't believe they necessarily have to be in order to connect us to ourselves or other people, or entities.
Can you capture a ritual in 4 lines? Well, perhaps 8 at the most : ) Aim for concentration.
I'll work on one myself.