‘Tis the season!
It’s the season of love, family, joy and laughter. For me, it’s also a season of deep healing. Winter depression is what some may call it but it’s always a time of the year where I remember my ancestors who’ve transitioned. In fact, this writing is in loving memory of my grandma Mary and my aunt Tamika. My aunt and grandmother raised me, and both are now my ancestors. I grew up in a small house in Sebring, Florida, but that small house held a lot of love. Now, as I write my first feature with Hallmark Mahogany, it only feels right to honor them with my thoughts and my words.
Every year from November through December, the world gears up to celebrate the holidays. The holiday season reminds me of my grandmother’s recipes and traditions that I now call my own. I can still smell her upside-down pineapple cake baking in the oven as we pulled the ice cream machine out to create our own flavors for the season. My favorite was peach, because it always went well with all the cakes.
I didn’t realize this was the beginning of my purpose in this lifetime—food, family, love…and healing.
Food is such an important part of how people communicate love, and being filled with yams and mac and cheese was my absolute favorite. I’m vegan now and have been for almost 20 years, but I had a sweet tooth as a kid and didn’t always like my vegetables. I remember the black-eyed peas grandma would try to make us eat. I was crafty; I would hide them in my napkin or lap until she left the room, and then I would throw them away. I thought I was smart, but she was smarter. It wasn’t long before she caught on and would sit and watch me eat them. I hated it at that time, but now I know it was for my nourishment and good health—and it was out of love.
After dinner we would curl up with a book or watch a Christmas movie together. I don’t watch TV much anymore (unless it’s assignment based), but books and writing—that stuck with me. Now look at me, writing for Mahogany.com.
I miss my grandmother and my aunt especially at this time of year and that’s okay. One way I’ve learned to heal grief in the holiday season is to share a special moment with others and offer them tools that will assist them on their journeys. Since books were an important part of our family’s holiday season, I’d like to share a few books with you by Black authors that I’ve read for healing:
- Vibrate Higher Daily: Live Your Power, by Lalah Delia
- The Makeover from Within, by Ty Hunter
- Cooking from the Spirit: Easy, Delicious, and Joyful Plant-Based Inspirations, by Tabitha Brown
- Speak: Find Your Voice, Trust Your Gut, and Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, by Tunde Oyeneyin
- Perfectly Imperfect, by Kelley Green
So, as you gobble and then wobble to the sofa after your holiday dinners to relax, I pray one of these books brings you comfort the same way they have brought me comfort.
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