I am from: lavender-scented grandmothers, chicken-feeding mothers, and stubbly fathers

This post is linked up to a synchroblog hosted by SheLoves Magazine as part of their “I am from” movement. 

I am from many men and women that have toiled hard and loved well. Here, in this space, I honor three who molded, shaped, prayed, and kept me close.

My lavender-scented Grandmother

I come from a grandmother with lavender-scented skin, soft, wrinkly fingers, and hidden recipes of mouth-watering curries. She has a stern look and a grim voice, but I know that she is a deep well of nurturing love. You can tell by her soft, holy hands and her tight embraces. We bicker because she forgets to take her medicines and I forget to fold my sheets. She heats up snacks and chai in the evening so I can relax when I come home from a long, tiring day. We share stories of her troubled past and my uncertain future.

I am a lover because she is. I am an invisible servant because she is. I am a deep well of love and sorrow because she is.

My chicken-feeding, home-building Mother

I come from a mother, the architect of houses and buildings, and of our humble beginnings. When she is away from home, we seize eating at the dinner table and conversations seem to dwindle to a “Do you know where the soap is?” and “It’s 9 pm, good night.” The art in my mom’s soul is transcendent, evident in everything and everyone she touches. Her home shelters the art of canvases, potted plants, and clutter of chickens that sneak in to the backyard for some grains of rice she puts out. She often says that crying a gift of God so tears should be shed and cherished. Her joy comes from simple delights like the ducks in a pond, street food, and a shameless second serving of ice cream.

I am sensitive soul because she is. I stop and consider the lilies because she does. I see art in things and people because she does.

My stubbly, delighting Father

When I was little, my dad used to run his stubbly cheeks next to my baby-soft face, and delight as I squirmed and giggled in his arms. He wouldn’t let me go to bed until I kissed and hugged him. He doesn’t kiss, hug, or force his stubbly beard across my face anymore, but I know he still delights in me. Especially when I pout with the stubbornness he shared with me. Or when I ask a million question about people and things, and he answers patiently and wisely.  He delighted in me when I took photos of EVERYTHING with my first camera, that he bought, and when I strummed my first chords on my first ukulele, that be bought.  When my father delights, you can tell because he tries to hide his half-smile and dreamy eyes. Precious, holy moments arise when he delights.

I am passionate because he is. I am stubborn because he is. I am an artist because he is.

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4 Comments

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  1. Leah, love the image of the art in your mom’s soul. Wow! What a lovely portrait of those who you’ve come from! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Leah, your writing is pure poetic prose and I love it. The pictures your words paint are gorgeous. This is such a great idea- exploring the idea of origins, foundations, and influences. Thank you for letting us into your world and showing us where you are from.

  3. Each of these tributes is a beautiful passage. I saw exactly what you meant for your reader to see, and I also saw the love you have for your family. It is touching, exciting, and honest. I’m glad that I chose to read your post today. Thank you, Leah!

  4. heatherderosa10 October 5, 2013 — 8:03 pm

    Leah, I love your writing. You clearly write to appeal to the senses. This post is a great reminder to always remember where we come from. Thanks for always being open and honest on your blog. Great job, and awesome post!

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