Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Rites of Greeting

To start this walking blog on an auspicious note, I wish a wonderful life walk to all and everyone! As the Sephardic blessing goes, "Paths of milk and honey!"

I collect proverbs and greeting words, and greeting itself is a magical act. When you say "Hello" to someone, you are using an old Anglo Saxon blessing word that is wishing health and wholeness, as well as happiness, to him or her--in keeping with the wholistic worldview that characterized the Anglo Saxons as well as so many other tribal peoples. The greeting terms of other lands have similar associations. For example, "salute" comes from Latin roots that are related to salutary (healthful) and even salt as a healthful, protective substance. Walking provides an opportunity for many hellos, and as I walk, I try to extend my Hellos not just to the humans I meet, but also to animals and to distinctive features of the natural as well as built environment. Such "rites of greeting" enable us to engage the environments we pass through in ways that make us participants, not just mere observers.

Therefore, I wish us all innumerable hearty hellos, as we greet our world, and in return, receive greetings from that world.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

This made me think of something I read few years ago about taking a moment to say a prayer or blessing over food before eating. Doing so can actually make any meal more nourishing at the quantum level. If that is true, then a greeting would have a same positive impact on both the giver and the receiver. Thank for reminding me.