Ritual Delicious

 In Permanence of Wings, Today's Feed

He knew better than to walk right into her kitchen when she cooked and so he stood by the entrance of the cramped room. He would have towered over the tiny barefoot woman if he were any closer. She stood on a stool by the oven because she was too short to stir the stew without it.

Earlier in the day, he heard her singing about a far away place she hasn’t seen in decades and never would again.

She had a wooden spoon in the air and was trying to get his attention. He smiled at the thought that she had used these spoons for cooking and discipline, and perhaps these two actions were more similar in her eyes than he had realized after all.

She listed off the name of meat pies, potato pies, rice dishes, roasts, stews, soups, pastas and frozen treats that she knew he had enjoyed over the years. Not one casserole was even placed on the list as a potential dish because she was aware that they weren’t his favourites even though he had never said as much.

As a sickly child she would struggle to get him fed but as he grew he devoured everything she placed in front of him and he turned out a healthy, strong handsome boy whose mind she also fed with books and lessons from a harder time.

While he was sick there was always chicken soup with the fresh herbs she used as a remedy. Later, when he was out of the woods and his health was returning, there was tea, a fresh warm loaf of bread baked with slivers of roasted almonds and dried apricot bits inside, a bowl of real oatmeal with a touch of brown sugar, and fresh field berries, and a small bowl of blackberry jam and butter also made by her right on the farm.

This was probably his favourite meal even today. An odd choice for a young man that is usually partial to a hearty meal, but it was the wholesome and delicious combination of flavours that he associated as part of a healing ritual performed by the mother that loved him.

As she continued with her work and started placing small labeled boxes into the freezer, he observed her hardened hands and wondered how she managed to retain her soft heart. Life hadn’t always been easy on her.

She was heading into the hospital the next day and yet refused to take it slow. He desperately wanted to take care of her for once but he realized this just made her feel more hopeless and so he left her to do her work.

Written by: Leni Sosa; Permanence of Wings
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