Sunday, May 22, 2011

On Soul Food

I didn't cook anything but the rice & spinach dish. I simply went to Wegman's and bought some Bourbon seasoned salmon and crab stuffed mushrooms to put into the oven. I got veggies, pretzels and dip for my glass partitioned snack tray, that I love but never use. It wasn't really soul food. There were no greens, pork, fried anything, mac n cheese or excesses in anything. I had enough for everyone to eat a perfect portion (not out of any sense of anything, simply because I didn't plan well enough to have extra). And watermelon as opposed to chocolate cake for dessert.

Everything tasted good. It was satisfying without being overwhelming.

But the food that enriched my soul was being with my family: my 82-year old grandpa, my aunt and her two boys, my cousin, his wife and their son, and my kids. It was easy-going and light, but full of spirit and good energy. I only thought how sweet that they still love each other like that, when my cousin's wife reached behind him and put her arms around him. It didn't occur to me until later how great my response was in that brief moment.

It was so good to see my grandfather moving, albeit slowly, but taking in his grands and greatgrands. I see age creeping into his bones and interfering with his energy. I see good genes at work as he traveled all the way from NOLA alone to see his family. I am slightly bothered by his trembling hands as he shows, but loving that he wants to show my teenage cousin how to sketch a face.

I love watching my kids play with their cousins. I believe things work out even when other things fall apart. It's so amazing that my kids have 2 cousins their age to play with and grow up with. It's amazing that they've known each other since birth and are good friends and they have this constant in their lives.

I only had a little watermelon after the evening was over, after everyone had gone home and children were sleeping soundly. I remembered my father, who loved watermelon and whom my brother and I laughed with as children eating watermelon together, while tasting the sweetness of this fruit. I remembered a beautiful day with my family who is still here.

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