A moment of silence:
Many years ago when my boys were attending Patwin Elementary School in Davis, our mornings were busy and harried. Those first few minutes were so hectic that we would forget science folders or a library book or a snack. So I came up with a simple solution from my childhood.
Growing up in India my sister and I had a morning ritual before going off to school. Like millions of other Indian children we would take a moment to stand in front of our family shrine (pooja area), light a stick of incense and murmur a quick prayer. Then we would pack our school books, homework and lunches. We would peck my father on the cheek and head out the door. My mother, a school teacher, had already left for the day after making us an elaborate breakfast of rice dumplings with spicy sauce, strong milky coffee and fresh fruit.
This brief moment of deep silence centered my sister and me and we started the day off at a less frantic pace. So I decided to try the same ritual with my boys and I am happy to report that we began to start off the day at a slower pace. I am not saying there were no more tardy slips or forgotten homework assignments, but our mornings started off calmer and we said good-bye to each other with kindness. We carried on this precious tradition until my youngest son left for college a few months ago.
Now that both boys are gone I thought that I could benefit from gathering my thoughts and holding still for a few minutes before rushing out to door to open the library. So each weekday morning I stand in front of our family shrine, light a stick of incense and perhaps a candle and close my eyes. I go deep within myself and find the quiet place and stay there for a few minutes. As the fragrance of the sandalwood incense drifts upward I open my eyes and imagine my boys standing beside me. And I know we are all benefiting from my moment of silence. I encourage all of you try it and be surprised.
On another note: Please visit the different tabs on my website to learn about events and media articles on “My Mother’s Kitchen: A novel with recipes.” I hope many, if not all, of you will join me in the various celebrations that are planned for the book release after Oct. 14, 2014.