Transition phases

Transitions are a natural part of life. Physically, emotionally and socially, you go through very big changes. I’ve gone through some of these, and though it has sometimes been frightening, so far it has turned out fine!

I can remember my onset of menarche. I was absolutely terrified, I can’t remember I was prepared for it to happen, but it was scary. I was 10 or 11, and that afternoon I was going on a date with my boyfriend… swimming… My mom was very sweet, explaining what was happening, and then bluntly put it this way: you either have to use a tampon or you can’t go swimming. It was an extremely uncomfortable situation, even more when my mom took out an almost life-sized doll and began to demonstrate how that would work. Talking about awkward! In retrospect, I don’t think my mother was expecting me to start menstruating at such an early age and hadn’t prepared anything for that. For my own children, should the Goddess bless me with daughters, I hope to have a small ritual of sorts and be able to explain the bodily changes to them in a slightly more comfortable situation! After all, it’s where you go from girl to woman.

By now, it has been almost a year since I got married. I tied myself to my husband, hoping not to part with him, ever. Comparing the limited symbolism and rituals surrounding menarche in the Western world, tying the knot is connected to many rituals. My father gave me away, for example, which is a most beautiful ritual that really signified him letting me go, placing me under the protection of my husband rather than his. It was a very emotional moment. Even more emotional, however, was the wedding vow. Standing opposite, holding hands and looking at each other, we pledged our commitment. “Yes, I do”. Then there was kissing and cheering and crying. Out of happiness 🙂 Cutting the cake together, throwing my wedding bouquet at the assembled unmarried women. It was a day I will never forget, symbolizing the transition from unattached to married woman.

At this moment, I am in the middle of a social transition. In March, I graduated from the university with honours. It was the end of my formal learning career (unfortunately, cause I enjoyed learning very much), and I am looking for a fulltime job. So far without succes, but then perhaps I am picky in which jobs to apply for. It is by far the longest transition phase and I hope it is almost over! In 3 days I will be doing a ritual for succes in job hunting as part of this process. I’m looking forward to this new part of my life!

These are the 3 transitions I have experienced most strongly, but obviously, everyone experiences different changes. The rituals surrounding them may also vary, depending on where you live and your customs. No matter what, change happens. Don’t try to oppose it, but move with it!

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Symbolism of wedding rings

I’ve been married almost 5 months now and still very conscious of my wedding ring. When playing korfball I take it off (I don’t want to risk breaking a finger and having to cut the ring) but other than that, I always wear it. Sometimes I suddenly find myself feeling the smooth metal or playing with it. Yes, it means a lot to me, the ring as symbol of our love.
When we got engaged two Christmasses ago, a ring was already important. He hadn’t planned it, so he fabricated a ring out of tin foil. I kept it on all evening, going to tell all our relatives. My grandfather was so proud, and immediately began telling stories of his own marriage. My grandmother died a month after I was born. On one hand, my grandfather has his wedding and engagement ring. Hers are on the other hand.
The wedding ring is a symbol of the enduring love between two people. Till death do them part, but even beyond that. My mom’s been dead for 5 years today, and though my dad has a girlfriend for some time now, he still wears his ring.
Being a circle, this enduring bond is also what the shape of the ring represents. In addition (though lately, more people choose rings made of metal), wedding rings are traditionally made of gold. Gold does not wear, it doesn’t deteriorate and is perfect to represent everlasting love.
For me, I believe the things the ring represents are also true of our relationship (I can’t imagine you would pose the question if you don’t believe this). And I love how that small band of gold around my finger says “I belong to someone else, and he to me, and that will never change”. Cynics will not agree, but I don’t care because it feels wonderful and gives me so much strength. Love is everlasting, just like the wedding ring.

The start of something wonderful

Six years ago, on August 14th, I decided I wanted to be in a relationship with the the love of my life. It was the best decision I ever made. Now, we’ve been married for almost 7 weeks, so we have just left the 6 weeks of honeymoon, the traditional period during which everything is sweet as honey and you eat white bread instead of whole wheat… What a road it has been. Not without bumps to start with, because we dated before, in secret, but split up. The age difference of 11 years was a bit too apparent then. But six years ago we were a couple once more, out in the open, and I’ve never had a moment of doubt.

Wanting to change into my PJs a couple of minutes ago, a curious package, wrapped in tin foil, was lying on my pillow, waiting to be opened by me. You probably don’t know this, but tin foil is our special thing. My husband used to wrap gifts with it, when I wanted regular gift wrapping paper, so we had some arguments about it. He also used a tin foil ring when he asked me to marry him. Some symbolism, and now I can’t refuse when he wants to wrap any package with it. Contained within this particular package was a small, pink notebook I gave him the Valentine’s Day we were dating for half a year. How we met, letters we wrote, poetry and art and even some of my diary entries about him, I’d put everything in it. It isn’t up to date, as we have barely put anything about the wedding in it, but now my husband made an entry.

So sweet, renewing the things he said when we married, expressing his happiness and joy, it nearly brought me to tears. I honestly wouldn’t know what I’d do without him. I’m grateful for what we have and thank the Goddess we have found each other. Love is beautiful!