Posts Tagged 'Hourglass'

Small props = Big Help

I just turned over my beautiful sandal-wood hour-glass to write this post.  I could easily look at the clock or set a timer to gauge the hour but using this prop is a more delightful measuring of time.

In my jeans pocket is another one of my props…a pedometer.  Like most of us, I am trying to get more exercise and watching those steps tick out one-by-one is a great motivator to park the car a little farther away or take the stairs.  Of course, I would still be trying to “walk more” but this little device makes it so much more fun.

“Prop” : a person or thing that is a source of support or assistance. (Oxford Dictionary.)  I need a lot of props to get through a day.

My morning prop of Chinese tea in a colorful mug along with a ½ of whole wheat English muffin with blackberry jam initiates my hour with God. The “Secret Garden” Pandora station prop tells me it is time to write. A hand-painted crystal goblet keeps me hydrated. Draping my colorful stole around my neck informs me I am a chaplain now.

In my book, Rhythms of Renewal , I wrote…  Many rituals include props of some sort to help enhance the experience.  Some more examples are:

  • Candles: Candles are lit at the beginning of a ritual and blown out at the end.  The Jewish Sabbath meal on Friday nights begins with this ritual.  Many dinners, personal ceremonies, conversations start this way.
  • Clothing: Marking the day to evening transition by changing into comfortable clothing, stepping into stretchy clothes before a morning exercise routine, donning a fun apron to start preparing food are all examples of clothing as props.
  • Food/drink:  Sharing a toast, breaking the bread, and pouring the tea are all components of certain rituals.  Think of the role of a cake in a birthday or wedding celebration, oyster soup on Christmas Eve, ham on Easter. When food is scripted, there is usually a ritual involved!
  • Music: Many rituals include a background score.   Lacing up the shoes and choosing the playlist gets many a runner out the door.  Classical music eases bill paying, dining can be enhanced by jazz in the background, creative writing encouraged to flow with movie soundtracks, and praying more focused with Gregorian chants.

Most of  life’s tasks can be accomplished perfunctorily but why not add a pleasant prop?

I would love to hear about some of your props in the comments section.

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