Ever have one of those days that you just want to hold close - like little gem in time? Today was one of those for me. First of all, it was a beautiful day after much chill and rain during the past week. Today, it was clear and crisp and sunny...just warm enough to not need a jacket. I got up early, and having no food in the house, first hit the regular grocery store. Now, if you really know me - you'll know that I'm a total foodie. The culture of it, the taste of it, the variety of it, the preparation of it, the ingredients in it, the origins of those ingredients - I could go on and on....it just excites me ;-). I left the grocery and hit the latino market with what I call the best kept secret in takoma park fish markets. Bought some red snapper and rockfish. Then to the caribbean market for some jerk season and mango achar. Now, I was in heaven. My fruit basket was filled with fresh plums and pineapple and young coconut. My fridge was happy. My stomach however, was still empty. I was already feeling kinda good about the day...but then it really just got better.
On a whim, with an idea from Janet - I called my mom and asked her if she would hold an impromptu cooking class. With fresh fish in hand (3 beautiful red snapper), I marched off to mom's to meet some friends. Mom held court in the kitchen, teaching us all how to make cou-cou and steamed fish. Now, cou-cou is a Barbardian thing. It turns corn meal into an art form and a test of good kitchen skills. It's a hearty, warm, feels like home kinda dish when prepared just right. We watched, and helped turn the meal. When done, with tired arms....we all sat around and ate the fruits of our....(well really, MOM's) labor. It was funny - and beautiful. Women ranging in age from my Mother - who is 81, thru the 50' and 40' somethings that were there to learn and absorb tradition from her.
What was really nice was the warmth in the room. The laughter, the friendship...I realized what a privilege it is to enjoy my mothers company, and have my best friends enjoy it as well. Everyone seemed to feel it. For a few hours there was nothing else in the world but good food, and loving fellowship. I'm thinking that's a glimspe of heaven there. No worries, just togetherness.
I'm richly blessed to have such wonderful women in my life. I only hope that I can contribute as much to their lives, as I feel they all contribute to mine. And I will always be eternally grateful for the time that i get to spend with my mom. This time is a gem - like a diamond - precious, rare and fleeting. I just had to take a moment to say "Thanks" and appreciate it for all of it's beauty.