“Eating is so intimate. It’s very sensual. When you invite someone to sit at your table and you want to cook for them, you’re inviting a person into your life.”Maya Angelou
When I was a child, My Mother, a native of Bogalusa, Louisiana, would conjure the indigenous ways of her mother and grandmothers by feeding me directly from her hands. I can close my eyes and see her hands: deep, rich mahogany. Tender, strong. Hands that nurture, love and protect. Still. I can recall the intimacy, love and even the tender touch of her fingers as she placed the food in my mouth with such love and great care. Her eyes soften with love for me. Still.
She was providing more than nourishment for my body.
As I grew into adulthood and was blessed with my own children, I, too, fed them from my hands. First, as an act of feeding and nurturing the bond between mother and child. Later, I understood that the way my mother fed me was a revolutionary practice and meditation on intimacy, love AND of cultivating the earth inside me for who I would become. She was preparing me to be me.
Even now, she feeds me from her hands.