She lived at the end of a cobblestone road. In Provence or Tuscany or tucked away in the Americas. It’s hard to say…it could have been anywhere, anytime. She was a purist: raw materials + love = food. But it was so much more. This was her medicine. She healed herself with the creation of it and healed others with the dispensing of it. The wooden bowls, soft woven napkins, copper kettles – artisans and their wares were her tools. And the edibles – plucked from the earth, the Great Mother herself. She was an artist, a chemist, a builder…the food her medium.
But it was not really food per se. Yes, it was something to eat on a plate, she knew enough to make it look as though it was from this world…but there were magical properties in there. Things not listed in the recipe. She’d peer into your soul and see what you needed: nettle tea, kohlrabi, black kale, walnut oil, a blessing said in silence that she’d quietly spread on your thick, crusty bread.
She’d distract you with her beauty – blond tendrils and bright red lips. Always those lips. Less seduction, more a metaphor…a bull’s eye. She saw through her mouth. Some say the third eye is on the forehead, her’s lay just below her nose. And she really would see you, and know what you needed and add her own particles of love and light. Then she’d transfer all of that that into your mouth under the guise of, “here honey, you look hungry.”
She was right, those who came to her, who were brave enough to make the long trek, often without knowing why, were starving. But their bellies ached for more than basic sustenance. She practiced an ancient primal tradition…cookery, alchemy, or perhaps something more primitive and maternal: a mother bird feeding her own young – mouth to mouth. A kiss.
And the experience would kiss you, make love to you, your entire body from head to your barefoot toes. The aromas, the colors, the light, the beauty. Your body welcoming – opening to – everything she had to offer. Because when you arrive, you have no idea what the potion of the day will be. She doesn’t either. But you make the trek, you climb the hill, get your heel stuck in the stones, pull it back out again, feel the warm wind pulling you higher, and higher, until you reach the belly of her soul, realizing you’re actually on the path to find union with your own.
Jill Lurie for Jules Blaine Davis