Her name was Lillian and she was the rock I stood on in a very shifty and uncertain stream called childhood. While I was growing up she was just Gram, the person who was always there. Hers was the warm lap for the times I was scared or sick. Hers were the arms that hugged me close after a nightmare. Hers were the footsteps I walked in right up to the time she left.
In earlier posts I wrote about how I learned to can fruit and vegetables because my gram was a canning whirlwind come September. This was only one of her legacies that she passed to me from her grandmother, but it’s one that I value greatly. I know my love of the harvest is mostly about my memories of her that come with the season–the rich smell of ripe tomatoes on the vine, the crunch of apples just out of reach, but dangling overhead and ready to pick, the even rows of carrots, lettuce, and onions–that’s September, the month that Gram returns to me.
And while I pick, then peel, then stir the bubbling pots in lazy eights–just the way she taught me, I thank Lillian for her gifts. Love. Family skills from another time. Patience which comes with any careful process, and memories of childhood harvests that often help me through the shifty and uncertain stream called adulthood.