“Some people say..”
Ana always used to say that. “Some people say..” But today was not any day. No, Oma was not in the mood. “What do some people say?” she asked, playfully, but obviously ridiculing any possible answer. She knew that Ana, unlike others, did not usually use that to give her own thoughts more weight, but rather from being afraid to be wrong, to be judged. But still, for some reason she did not wanted to deal with that now.
These were the days when I still used to sit for long times watching Oma. I watched her hands, busy, working the dough, other times breaking nuts, cleaning the fresh killed fish, smelling the flowers she just cut from the garden, or making me a new sweater, almost always working, going outside, feeding the chicken, parading her dirty hands.. but also her short breaks, letting a happy breath out, stretching, checking on me with a quick glance, always followed by her smile, back to work.
I did not know that then but I loved her. She would sometimes sit and tell me stories, resting my head on her hip, her fingers remembering at times to slide through my hair, and sometimes in my mind I would tickle and laugh with a clear, loud laugh, and she would resist, but then, her heart would give through and her laugh was unsure, held back as if she did not want to somehow use her everyday laugh with me. And then she would giggle and I would make faces. Silly boy!
A lot of women came to visit Oma, almost every day and mostly the reason for these visits was Oma’s gift for preparing food that lots of people enjoyed. Now, I know well that food like many other things that bring pleasure to our senses cannot be judged on its inner value because there isn’t any and everyone simply has their likes and dislikes. That we share our preferences and as people we tend to like certain things, that is true. But we do that for the same reason for which we learn the same language, wear the same clothes, and use the same colors and designs when we paint our houses and pots. Dedha’ar once told us the story of a trip to a far distant land where people left the milk go bad and that was their most sought drink. They invited, even prompted their guests to drink it. Dedha’ar tried it once as per the customs he could not refuse it and felt sick from it and he swore not to set foot on that land again.
But still, Oma’s gift for food making, if we are to judge by how many people enjoyed it in Gnosior was out of the ordinary.