Yurihama is the sister city of Hilo and I was incredibly blessed to dance at the annual Hawaiian Festival one summer. On that trip, after meeting with government officials, we were whisked away to a beach and participated in an umibiraki ceremony. The ceremony was led by a Shinto priest tasked with declaring the sea “open and safe for swimming”. School children were then led by their teachers down to the ocean for a dip, officially kicking off the swimming season. Most Japanese adhere to the swimming season, so it was lovely to witness a formal ritual for something we take for granted in Hawaiʻi, where swimming season is year-round.
Lately, I’ve been feeling like the world around me is so much more casual than I’m used to and it’s probably because there is not enough ritual in my life. For me, transitions marked by ritual, give me necessary pause. They allow for reflection on what has transpired and for visioning on how to progress into a next phase, so if I’m feeling like marked transitions are necessary for my own well-being, then perhaps incorporating ritual more intentionally in my life is a good thing.
….in response to seasons