I’m not sure when it began exactly, but I remember our ritual beginning when my little girl was still a babe in arms. I would hold her in my arms while I opened the drapes in the family room and sang a made up song,Good morning house, time to start the day! Good morning house, time to run and play!
As a wee babe, my little girl would smile and laugh, kick her little legs out while I sang as we opened up each room. First we began in her bedroom, then the family and living rooms, last we would open up my bedroom where we would end our tour of the home in the rocking chair. The spontaneity of our daily routine has made it even more precious to me, more than the planned traditions of certain holidays or birthdays. I treasure these too, but it is different when there is a sudden burst of ritual — like a falling star that signals the start of a new creation.
Even now, three years later we open the house with “Good morning house, time to start the day!” along with giggles and hugs, running from drape to drape. “Good morning house, time to run and play!” and she’ll clap her hands, hopping from one foot to another, asking me “Where are we going today, Mama?” We’ve opened the house through sunshine, rain and snow, countless days and the song remains the same.
Strangely, we’ve never come up with a “Good night house” version. It might be because by the end of the day my brain is too tired to think up new songs after a whole day of creating new songs. As we go around and close the house up each day, though, I think the true reason is because we know our house is never truly closed. It’s always open to us and to the excitement we have for life. Which might explain why my sweet girl is constantly running and playing. I wish I had thought of that before.
This might not be the most profound of all rituals. I happen to actually have profound thoughts on how I do my laundry and sweep my floors; I have certain habits I continue only because of who taught me the skill in the first place makes them important to me. I might write about these things another time. At the moment though, I have a little girl jumping on the couch and we need to close up the house. And I need to consider a Good Night House song.