05 May 2010

Popcorn and Zee

While listening to my ipod in the kitchen yesterday, I came across the band, "Deviant Electronics"--a group I found through my dear friend, Grey Six, just before he passed away last year, (deep sigh).
The song from their, 'Free Radical' Album entitled, "Blunt Instruments" seems to be my personal theme lately, as I am currently in the process of finishing up a Masters Degree in Acupuncture. I was in the kitchen making Baked Squash Enchiladas when I thought I would make a small batch of Maple Popcorn just for kicks. Although I've used this recipe hundreds of times, I misread my own shorthand and instead of putting 3/4 of a stick of butter, I put in 3/4 cup, (which is quite a different story).
After realizing my mistake and quickly making up for it by adding the appropriate amount of Maple Syrup to the pot, my mind had some time to wander while I patiently popped over three gallons of organic corn on the stove.
I thought back, way back to my time growing up in the sleepy little redwood town near the ocean and of Zee, the silver-haired botanist in her 80's who use to be my good friend when I was only seven or eight years old. I had a lot of room growing up. More than most. I could come and go as I pleased, and I roamed the neighborhoods. All of us kids use to flood her house with little feet and dirty faces as she would kindly prepare homemade hot chocolate for us and hand it to us in steaming hot mugs. I remember what little furniture she had in her simple white house: a wooden chair, a dresser, a bed and not much more. I remember her walls being as bare as the hard wood floors where we would sit and sip the hearty mugs of thick black liquid. Zee would fill our empty bellies and then she would fill our little heads of tales of the Native Peoples who once called this land, 'home'. Zee also put us to work from time to time pulling her little red wagons all around the neighborhoods. She would fill the wagons full of Aloe and other plants, which we would then sell door-to-door up and down the streets for fifty-cents a plant; twenty-five cents we would bring back to her and twenty-five cents we were allowed to keep--for candy or what ever we wished. I think my mother just heard this story for the first time a few months ago. Oh, to be young and latch-key and free. When I talk about Zee to my mother now, I hear new stories of Zee's life and of her famous Black Bamboo or her use of Medicinal Herbs. I can still picture her back yard in my head as I write this: green, lush, vibrant and full of potential. I will always think of her fondly and I hope to see her again one day.

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