The women in my family have always been gypsies of some sort and I have always been a spectator, tucked away in a corner, peering behind the curtains of my hair. Every New Year’s Eve, I watched in amusement as they stuffed dried lentils into every pocket of their purses, filled their mouths with grapes as they welcomed the new year and then ran around the neighbourhood with empty suitcases dangling from their hands like a bunch of mad women. They subscribed to the believability that the lentils would bring them money, the grapes - prosperity, and the empty suitcases would endorse the opportunity to travel around the world. I bit back my laughter until the last of them disappeared around the corner and then managed to collect myself before they reappeared again. Those were perhaps the silliest of their rituals.
My grandmother was stranger. When I was 10 and plagued with nightmares, I wasn’t given a dreamcatcher. I was given a candle and coconut… it’ll suck up all the bad energy around you, I was told, and when I gathered a pail full of sea shells from the beach, she made me give it back to ocean because… you never steal from the ocean or she will keep from you a husband.
The women in my family are indeed strange, but we share the same blood. And so this year, I didn’t fill my bag with seeds, mouth with fruit or run like a chicken without its head around the block. Instead, I thought about what I want most of all and picked a lily, then tied a red ribbon around its stem. This year, I’ll find something pure, fall in love and let it grow.
54 Notes on this post
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- thedailydoodles said: I like this a lot.
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- musingsofalibertine said: I love these vignettes of your life; they’re beautifully evocative and poignant, brushed with humour and a deeper history. I love them.
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- trixclibrarian said: i adore this - especially the first paragraph…and it makes me want to (be part of your family of women) hear more about how the gypsyblood peaked through as your lily ritual evolved(s). thanks for your words
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- thesealivesinme said: Beautiful!
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