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<Drums Rattle Djembe Doumbek>

Popcorn Ceremony

PopcornWhile visiting a youth program in the Bronx last month, a young boy looked up at me and asked, “Do you want to join our popcorn ceremony?” I told him I would love to join his popcorn ceremony and asked him to tell me more about it. “Well, it’s very special”, he told me. “First, you have to have all the ingredients, put them on the table, pour the special corn in the popper, wait a few moments because at first it seems as though nothing happens because the popcorn is so quiet. Then, it gets very loud and the corn pops like crazy. Look, we can even dance while it’s popping.” A few boys start swinging and swaying as the popcorn maker shakes on the table. After a few sporadic pops, the boy opens the lid and ever so gently pours the popcorn into a striped glass bowl. He then whispers thank you to the popcorn, takes a handful, and passes it around to the other boys in the group. Each boy is careful to only put what fits in their hands to eat and they keep passing the bowl around. We pass the bowl around at least ten times.

I have been to wedding ceremonies, prayer ceremonies, fire ceremonies, and even tea ceremonies, but this was my first ever popcorn ceremony!  Given the right attention, openness, reverence, could more of what I experience be ceremony? If young boys can pay attention to their popcorn and create a ritual out of that, could I be more mindful of the rituals I create in my life?

After finishing the popcorn, the young boy looked at me and asked, “Did you like our popcorn ceremony?” I told him it was one of the most fun and sacred ceremonies I have ever been to in my life. They asked me to define sacred – and it was with ease that I told them it was the purposeful act of paying attention to their popcorn and each other. “It is the respect you gave to making popcorn as well as helping each other and sharing it.”

“We have popcorn ceremony every day. Will you come back?” Yes, I will.

Let’s share more ceremony,
Mary Anne

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