The other day she was in the kitchen blending up she sour sop ice cream and thinking about the woman is today, home maker, mother, wife, sister, aunty and all the other roles a woman fits into, and memories just start rolling around, settling in she head. And she mind just rolled back to the experiences in her life and how they have contributed towards forming that woman. Times when she longed for her mother, wished her father was part of her life. Times when her life seemed to be filled with hardship and pain, from both physical and emotional abuse.
And yesterday she in the kitchen again, not her kitchen- not the one with the wine bottles she converted to candle holders -before she started with her Rustic Selections – lined up over the sink and wine glasses in the cupboard, waiting to be caressed by some medium red and them hands that not afraid of any kind of work, and more space than she know what to do with. It’s a smaller kitchen, hardly any cupboard space–so wares on one side and groceries on the other, no table to put a plate on or chair to rest she bamsie on, not even a dish drainer so is towel on the counter to collect the water and containers stacked on top of the fridge. And she could still whip up Sunday lunch, with what she has and call that George! Once she susses out how the cooker works, she good to go.
And she thinking that it’s because of those experiences she is now able to function and adapt to any situation life throws her into. And she thinking that it is because she’s lived through every one of the forty nine chapters of Force Ripe, that she is able to find a place and make her space anywhere and survive. It is those experiences which have armed her with the survival skills which she never remembers to include on her CV:- how to improvise, multi-task, problem solve- and she’s not talking about algebra, but real life critical thinking. It is between those pages with Lee, that she’s learned to make the best peas soup, coconut drops, sweet potato pudding, bakes, and refuse to let any amount of that life saving white powder, poor people’s staple, called flour, frighten her, because when she watch them nice golden loaves it could turn into, when mixed with some yeast, a little lard and water, she heart does swell up like them loaves. And not to mention her belly! But she thinking how it’s because of those times that she is now able to function under any circumstances. And it all started between those pages- the forming of this person, the woman she is today. This survivor.
Excerpt from Chapter 26 – Force Ripe
I gather up the wood. I leave out some to make the fire to cook me breadnuts and I pack the rest neat neat under the shelf by the fireside. I scrape up all the ashes from the fireside and toss it out in the garden. I used to watch I-Trad well good when he lighting the fire. Dry leaf first. Then some coconut fibre over it. And brambles on top it. Then I pack the wood on top of it and I make sure I leave space for the fire to breathe. I-Trad say if the fire can’t breathe, it won’t light. The fibre spark up as soon as I rest the match on it. It blaze-up and then it out. I put some more fibre and I light it again. The wood a little wet and the wind not blowing inside so I kneel down on the floor and start to blow it. I full up me chest with air. I huff and puff and huff and puff like the wolf in The Three Little Pigs and I blow. Smoke nearly choke me. I fan and fan the fire with a piece of cardboard until it blaze up again. Then I leave it to burn.