Roses and Peppermintsbydestinie21©
I was looking in the mirror, and the smell of roses and peppermints, her scent, drifted over me. I very nearly cried. The eyes looking back at me were at once mine and hers.
I remembered the old woman’s face, like a road map detailing everywhere she had been in the ninety something years of her life’s journey. Each hill and crevice of her landscape had a meaning and I didn’t need to gaze at her palm to know that her lifeline was long and broad.
This woman who had lived in the times before “black is beautiful,” was gorgeous to me. She showed me the beauty in my own face and let me know there was no shame in being the darker child and that like Langston Hughes “I Too Sing America.” The pride in who she was and who we were was nothing less than my birthright and the language her love was the words she left to me, she and I do the same thing except I use words to write and she used them to sing.
She, who had witnessed such unspeakable violence, bore witness to the strange fruit of the south and burning crosses. At a time when the land where we stand could easily have been called Amerikkka, she spoke of nothing but peace. The strength in that doesn’t escape me even in my youth.
She who never lost faith showed me God in her eyes and in mine. She who helped me get over the primal rage of not finding my name written in the bible’s page also helped me to understand faith. So now sometimes when I look into my eyes, that aren’t so deep with knowledge of a lifetime I smell roses and peppermints and the scent of it reminds me of my legacy.