Day 33: Meaningful Rituals / by Jeff Tacklind

This morning was delightful!  Mia and I have been having breakfast on Fridays for years now.  She and I are breakfast people.  It is both of our favorite meal of the day.  We’ve been exploring all of Laguna’s spots on a quest for the very best poached eggs and cinnamon rolls.  There are plenty to choose from.  Zinc, Heidelberg, Penguin, Urth, Shirley’s…Laguna is filled with a great variety of little breakfast nooks.

But our most favorite of all is Orange Inn, and that’s where we went today.  This place has so much soul!  The rafters are filled with old Brewer and Dewey Webber longboards…not well persevered, but dinged up, yellowed, and well surfed.  We love the window seat with the words “Best Coffee in Town” decaled on it.  (We usually make some Elf reference.)  The muffins are fantastic. The soup is great.  They even have a fabulous tuna sandwich.  But we come for the eggs and the cinnamon rolls.  Every time.  Because it is our ritual.  It is what we do.

This morning, Mia was commenting on the different smells.  They are so familiar.  John, the owner, comes out and greets us, checks in on us, calls me “padre.”  We feel known.  We belong here.

We finish up breakfast and walk down to the end of the street and down the steps to the beach at Cleo.  There’s a bench down there, close to the water, where we like to sit and watch the waves and surfers before school.  That, too, is our spot.  It is our bench.  We laugh about different stories and memories over the years.  That one time we watched a random sandal being sucked out to see and then thrown back by the waves, over and over.  We just sit and giggle. 

These moments, these glimpses, are solidified in the ritual.  They take on a certain permanence.  They have shaped us.  These experiences are now a part of who we are.  And because of that, they are sacred.

I love my daughter.  I love the way she comes alive when it is just the two of us.  She and I move through life at the same pace.  We’ve always just sort of understood one another.  Ever since she was little, we’d find ourselves on trips or at parties, retreating to a corner and hanging out quietly. 

We get each other, and that is such a gift.  I love our rituals, not for the formality or structure, but for the deep peace they bring.  We are the same.

This morning, as Mia finished her cinnamon roll, she had worked it all the way down until just the center was left.  Because the center is the very best part (did you know that?).  It is the gooiest, sugariest bite of the whole thing. Every time we split it.  We savor it.  And we give thanks.  For good breakfast. For our friendship.  For the beauty of our ritual.  But most of all, for the sweet gift of each other.