Lemon Tarts & Cherries

I woke up thinking of my grandparents, specifically, initially, my grandmother Phyllis. My inclination, what I want to do, what keeps coming up is a heritage and healing experience that I co-curate with my Aunt Rosanne who has immersed herself in the Black history of New Bern, NC.

As I took out my markers to imagine, I remember, or was nudged to asked my Aunt Rosanne to be sure, if yesterday was my grandparents wedding anniversary. My gut guidance said it was but I was not positive. I had not celebrated it or paid attention to it or recognized it since the summer, many moons ago, that I spent going back, back, back and forth and back and forth (a nod to the Black Eyed Peas track I played incessantly in the car that summer) between NYC and DC. A summer that included a bus ride to Montclair, NJ to the church where my parents celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

Interestingly enough, yesterday was also the day that Eddy’s paternal cousins gathered in Goudomp, Casamace, Senegal to collectively pay homage to the family ancestors, including his father, Ishmaila.

As dusk settled on this little French village where Eddy and I have been in since March tending to one another and mending after seven years of entrepreneurship, I got a confirmation text with corresponding warm fuzzy emojis that evoked the kinda stickers my grandmother might have affixed to a care package or birthday envelope from my Aunt Rosanne. Along with a quick call from her in the midst of a Black history event she was attending hosted by the James City Historical Society at what folks refer to in shorthand as the slave quarters.

Around the same time as he headed out for a walk, Eddy had confirmed that prayers had been said and the folks had been fed in Goudomp, so I figured I needed to in some way recognize our ancestors here where we are so.

I think I recall that my grandfather James had a fondness for lemon-flavored desserts, so I chose a citrus tart from the bakery across the street and topped it with a deep burgundy colored cherry (or a cherry-colored cherry) because my grandparents might have ascribed to the notion, in spite of life’s hardships, that it can be a bowl of cherries.

Besides, it, the cherry, is also the color associated with the root chakra and the Chakra Empowerment card I pulled from Shola Arewa’s deck yesterday morning, one for my root chakra, which she explains in her work, Opening to Spirit, is tied to our ancestors.

I hope that they enjoy our offering as we celebrate their love and their lives.

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