The Grandmothers Are Alive in Me

Many years ago, I had this dream:

“I am in the basement of an old house, stone walls, low ceiling, dank, dark, musty, cobwebs everywhere. I walk down the corridor, there is a door on the left. Old, wooden, heavy, I push hard, it stubbornly opens.

The room is large, dimly lit, I see a dozen old women scattered randomly. Each one sits on a stool in front of a large cooking pot. They jabber away in a long-forgotten tongue, I know what they are saying. One nona waves, motioning me to come over. She has a scarf on her head, a dirty apron, stockings rolled down to her ankles. She stirs the soup with a long wooden gourd.

She smiles at me a toothless grin, full of sweetness and mischief. She takes the spoon out and offers me some soup. It is hot, I sip carefully, my whole body radiates warmth. I think: ‘Mana from heaven, deep in the underworld.”