Evince — to manifest, make evident, bring to light.
I love ritual. As an adult who doesn’t live near family, it’s been surprising to discover. Growing up, I can’t remember ritual in our everyday lives. Perhaps because we didn’t live near extended family — they lived at the end of a long drive for hours (at the closest) or the end of an international flight.
The rituals that automatically come to mind are those that my brother and I forced upon my family, like the tooth fairy and Christmas gifts and Thanksgiving. Though I think my mother drew the line at jellybeans during Easter, my parents often obliged, as if paying a toll.
But there were very rare moments, less flashy moments that we shared together. On our birthdays, my mother would make us a bowl of somen noodles with an extra egg cracked in for whoever’s birthday it was that day.
This past Friday, I called an assorted group of friends, pulled from different areas of my scattered life together for a celebration. An Iron-Chef-themed party where the guests had to bring dishes with one of these ingredients: coconut milk, chard or eggplant. Two of the guests engaged in a live, timed competition cooking with the secret ingredient, the lily bulb.
After the eating and the chatting and the laughing, I asked the guests to sit with me and write down words they wanted to manifest intentionally for the upcoming year. Two years ago to welcome in my 30th, I had asked guests to create manifestations of their demons a la Lynda Barry’s One Hundred Demons.
Then we threw them into the fire and watched them burn and let go.
This year, the words I received from a friend sitting next to me, “Love on people whenever you can.”
A good mantra to live by for this upcoming year.