New Year Musings…

I celebrate New Year on January first of the Gregorian calendar as well as the lunar (Islamic) new year. Each one brings different practices and celebrations.

Earlier, as I was cooking my black-eyed peas, an African American New Year’s tradition, I was reminded of the time I was traveling across the African continent and had a stop-over in Lagos, Nigeria. I implored one of my fellow travelers who I recognized from the conference I had just attended to help me find a place to stay since I would be in town for a day and not flying until late evening. She very graciously took me home to her family home.

Because her family was celebrating her visit they made a special dish made out of black-eyed peas. The skins are removed and the beans are made into a spicy paste-like meal that was hot and delicious! The hostess told me how they manually remove the skins and I was amazed.

After a short stay, I left Lagos with sand of the local beach in my shoes and memories of a graciously hosted visit.

I don’t know the name of the black-eyed pea dish that I had in Lagos, but I have since had it back here in the States. When I was telling the cook how I had enjoyed this dish in situ in her country she shrugged and said ” we use a food processor here.”

My mothers always prepared black-eyed peas for New Year with the traditional saying that they bring good luck in the new year. I have brought my recipe into the twenty first century where I avoid animal products and processed salts. I stick with simple savory spices and often have the interesting looking peas over lettuce in a salad.

Aside from that health oriented innovation, I am as my mothers were: committed, hard-working, and generous of heart and spirit. I certainly have had more expansive opportunities them them: world travel, advanced education, and interfaces with many diverse cultures. I remain, though, much the same as them. I look like them, I cook like them and I will never close the space in my front teeth as my African foremothers never would.

And as for luck, I am truly blessed; still living and hoping for all of the good things in life. I wish that as well for those I know and love and for those random souls who read my words and hear my voice: “Happy New Year” and have some black-eyed peas.

Linda Tauhid
©12/30/18

Christmas

the fireworks of Christmas

are sounding 

the celebration

is nigh…

we need more love,

we humans;

in our hearts,

in our faces,

in our deeds;

how do we ignore

each other’s stories

and walk so blindly

on our way?

hating others,

thinking less of them…

not sharing our joy

our hopes, our human pain

in any meaningful way.

life is a miracle,

a precious grant;

Jesus the Christ

is a word,

a sign of hope and love;

a story,

a reality,

a gift

from The Creator’s

heart;

a link in the chain

of 

His Love.
Linda Tauhid

©12/25/18

For Nancy Wilson

she lives!

in exuberance,

soul and passion.

she lives

through song

and it’s touch…

in the vibration

of bass, piano and drum

she lives

In African church rhythms

and jazzy vocal stylings;

how vast-I did not know…

we traveled the same times

in different ways

we come from similar etchings

and return

to diverse

endings…

she lives!

Linda Tauhid

©12/15/18