“We do what we do, because of who we are. If we did otherwise, we would not be ourselves.” Neil Gaiman
Because I'm a teacher and a writer, I observe and wonder about many things. Today as I worked in my garden, my thoughts turned to an old story, then to my own actions.
One of the stories that has been passed around concerns a "reason why something is done", rather like a tradition, but smaller. A family member asked a mom in the family why she always took the bone out of the Sunday roast? She answered, because my mother did. They found her mother and asked the same question. She didn't know either, just did it after watching her own mother prepare the roast. Luckily 'her' mother still lived, so was asked that question. She looked up and said: "I didn't have a pan big enough for a big roast so had to remove the bone so it would fit."
I thought of this story today and began to think about certain things I do, "just because", or perhaps they come from years of growing up with watching others live their lives. Some I understand; some are mysteries.
My grandmother had gorgeous flowers, and I grew up watching my grandfather digging coffee grounds into the soil, among the other composted items. I've looked it up, and it isn't necessarily good to do unless one needs to add more acid to the soil. But he did it, so I do it, but now only sometimes. My flowers do well. Is this luck, or the soil just needs the acid? And I wonder why he thought it was important to do? Maybe it was just to get rid of the grounds? No trash collection back then. Some was burned and some taken to the town dump.
I still never walk under ladders, and suspect it's because that same grandfather was so, so superstitious. I also do NOT step on cracks, DO knock on wood, spit in an open fire. I think that the 'spit' was like a "good-luck thing" to ensure the fire kept contained. I remember doing it as a young girl, but not who taught me and its origin.
One of the first arguments my husband and I had as newlyweds was where to place the kitchen trash receptacle, out in the kitchen or under the sink. Really, it seemed to be a big deal! He had grown up having the trash under the sink. My family always had it out.
I fold sheets so the back side is out. Don't know why.
I always leave something on my plate when eating. And I buy a new broom for any new space I move to, house or in the past, classroom.
Are there things you do and are unsure of why you do them?