my granny had a Cape Gooseberry plant at the bottom of her back garden. it grew wild and nobody every faffed, or fussed over it, but it was generous and faithful in that fierce manner that many living things have when they are simply left alone to be what they are.
where i now live, far from my granny’s little house, far from a lot of things that i hold in my deepest pockets for fear of forgetting them, they are known as Physalis, a name that doesn’t fill my mouth with the same familiar sweetness, and names are always important, aren’t they? the naming of a thing should be a ritual, a small bell that rings when you pick it up, or when you say it with your mouth, or perhaps when you are walking through the grocery store on a Sunday morning looking for apples and toothpaste and olive oil, you might spot the shape of love sitting on a shelf just above the mangoes, you might walk a bit faster with your foreign feet, might have to pick the carton up and hold them close to your short sighted eyes, just so you can be sure that they are what you are hoping they are.
i know that some warm-blooded bodies might disagree with me, might frown at how i reduce God to something common, how i am always dragging the hand of the sacred into places like the fruit aisle, but look, here i have a bowl of something-that-tastes-like-the-shape-of-my-grandmother, flown in from Colombia where i have never been, but where a stranger picked the memory-thin papery cases filled with orange light, and here i am holding the beauty, savouring the taste with my youngest mouth.
how small the world. how short the days. how the beauty fills the hands that wait with a pregnant thank-you.
© Liezel Graham 2023