Traditions are the continuation of customs, rituals, unwritten laws and beliefs passed on from generation to generation. They are repetitive and intentional, usually seeing us breaking from the routines of our normal day to day life. Quite often they require us to put more effort into our thought process and preparation so that we are able to bring these moments to life.
My favourite types of traditions to be a part of are the ones that include family, familial traditions, i'm particularly drawn to the way in which they can help to create a story and a timeline of great memories. Encompassing treasured tastes, sounds, smells and sights that shape our lives from childhood into adulthood. They are the heart and soul of a family, helping to strengthen bonds, offering comfort and instilling and reinforcing values as well as being the cornerstones of friendships that span decades. The joys that season these traditions are usually punctuated with food, music, stories, rituals, travel, special events and games and these are the moments that matter to me, the moments that fill me up.
I grew up in Jamaica and I can still recall certain details from my childhood, distinct smells and sounds; Sorrel at Christmas time or the smell of chicken being fried for Sunday dinner, and while we're on the subject of Sundays, It would be a safe bet that a Sanchez or Bob Marley vinyl would be spinning on the turntable stereo system in the living room. My favourite parts were definitely our Saturday morning ritual of watching cartoons, my least favourite?...having to endure the live cricket broadcasts on the radio, lol.
I had a rich childhood, sensorially speaking. Growing up on an island is almost like being birthed with an old soul, at least from my experience, it was more than just the physical aspects of life, the 'felt moments' were always reliable, especially at family get togethers and events. Without a doubt, Christmas time is my favourite time of year, my sense of awareness is always heightened, I can vividly recall one particular moment from the last Christmas I spent on the island before moving to London, I was standing outside staring up at the stars in the night sky whilst eating after 8 thin mints, I remember thinking of my mother, or maybe I was just feeling her presence, but physically she wasn't there, she had moved to London and I was living with my aunt and cousins. The thin mints were gifts sent from her, as was the night dress I was wearing. I remember having mixed feelings I missed her, but i also felt close to her, I felt loved.
I speak of these moments and feelings because I value them, I value the traditions my family took part in, because they kept me grounded when I needed them the most. Now that i'm a mother, it's very important to me that i'm able to create a home that embodies comfort, love and security for my daughter, I want to stain her sensorial memories with traditions, to instil within her, treasured moments and values. I work hard to make her birthdays and christmases memorable, but don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean that these occasions are always grand, they are, however, always done with thought.
The idea for House Of Coce is inspired by and rooted in familial traditions. As is obvious, my belief is that value should be placed on all the elements that make up the timeline of our lives, especially the ones that keep us anchored. The intentions, the preparations, family & friends, the stories within the stories, the tastes, the sounds, the smells, the ingrained rituals that promote self-care, coming togetherness and reconnecting, recharging and the ability that a family has to refocus and ground you. The goal for HOC is to build a community with an open dialogue, a platform that unites likeminded individuals that are wanting to share fragments of their journey through life.
Perhaps your own familial traditions are laced with similar rituals, maybe instead of fried chicken with rice and peas for Sunday dinner, you look forward to a Sunday roast lunch, maybe every bed time is proceeded with story time with your kid/s or a reflection of your day and sharing your highs and or lows, Pizza or Chinese for dinner every Friday night, a Christmas tree decorating party every year, planting a tree when a new child is born. Whatever they may be, collectively, these rituals help to instil and encourage tight bonds within families and friendships. With all that being said, I do hope that you will jump in if you feel moved to do so, but for the time being, i will be sharing with you my version of those details, reaching back and looking forward.
Over the coming weeks, keep an eye out on the navigation menu up above as i'll be unveiling more elements to House Of Coce.