Kind Essence, M.Ed., Certified Yoga Instructor,
Spiritual Intuitive Healer
It was a Memorial Day
holiday in 1991 and I was in the mood for some biscuits. Boy
did it take it back to some childhood memories, that kind I
don’t mind remembering. Everyone who was blessed had two
grandmothers, but honey, God really shined Her light down on
me, because I was blessed with three grandmothers. If you
want to define the term “grandmother’ than you can check it
with Webster, but if you use the definition, which comes
from feelings, well I’ll just have to say that I had three
You see I adopted one
while I was a small girl. In fact you could say I borrowed
one from my very best girl friend named, Alice Hightower.
Now, Alice lived, very conveniently, across the driveway
from me and if I wasn’t home I was at Alice’s house. Why?
Mostly it was due to Alice’s’ grandmother. I never knew her
real name; I simply called her, “Grandmother Hightower.”
She had the strangest
magnetic attraction for me. I simply sat in her kitchen,
claiming to be waiting for Alice, but secretly I’d be there
to watch her. Alice’s people said they came from the South,
and because my family were Northerners, to me that seem like
some mystical place which claimed some high order of power.
Where my grandmother
appeared to be cushioned and refined, Grandmother Hightower
appeared to be rough and rugged. Her statue loomed over me
as a child, almost to the point of being frightening. Her
feet were large, flat, dark and very sand papery, definitely
not manicured! I could imagine them treading many miles in
the trenches of plantation fields of cotton or tobacco. More
than likely it was tobacco, because she was always gumming
on that stuff around the house. She said she liked the taste
of it, as she spit out the juices in the back yard. Yuck,
was my response.
Her legs and arms were
stout! Thick! Couldn’t imagine her doing any kind of
aerobics, except the kind field hands know as, “tote that
barge, lift that bail, if you get a little drunk, well, you
know the rest.
A leather mask is what
she wore, frozen in position never changing with time. Lips
and nose were non-descript to me. That hair, what little she
had, always seemed to be uncombed, so contrasting to mine,
long and heat processed; hers was tight, curly and bob wiry
Coal black eyes, encircled with gray mass, were embedded in
their sockets; eyes which seemed to know many secrets, yet
untold, gleamed from her face. Cold eyes which always seem
to comfort me, kept me coming back for frequent visits.
But mostly I remember her
hands, always busy, always reprimanding, yet always
soothing. I remember her always in the kitchen, when her
hands seem to be their happiest-washing dishes, washing down
the floor or stirring up some enticing brew in one of her
huge kettles; or kneading out that dough. That was an
everyday ritual for Grandmother Hightower. She made scratch
biscuits early every morning, easy enough for me to get some
before I went to school, while I waited for Alice.
She handled that dough
like a potter works clay, tossing, shaping, and mixing, all
with a lot of love. I’d sit there very patient, never had to
say a word. She knew what I was there for, my eyes said it
all. Oh please, may I, may I!
Soon the biscuits would
go into the oven. Soon I knew joy would come. Privately I
prayed that Alice would be taking her good old sweet time,
as usual, because it wouldn’t be long before those biscuits
would start smelling up the kitchen and start my mouth
watering and Bingo!
would march right up to that stove, why she didn’t even need
a potholder; her strong hands could pull that tray out
without feeling the heat or getting burned. That’s when I
knew she and that stove had a special relationship. They
honored and respected each other. Her love and fixings,
along with that stove’s right temperature produced some of
the finest, golden, brown biscuits this side of heaven.
Hightower would yell out, “Karen, whicha sittin over dar
watin for? You betta come over here child and git you self
some of dese biscuits, for they git cold!” She didn’t have
to ask me twice. I grabbed me a plate, picked out the
plumpest, brownest ones I saw, packed them with butter, then
she’d come over and pour the sweetest tasting honey all over
them. My hands and mouth would be so sticky, as I crammed
every crumb into my eatery. Then she made me wash-up, so I
wouldn’t be dirty going to school, cause she knew my mother
I don’t know if Alice
ever loved or appreciated her grandmotherthe way I did. I
could only hope she never let a day go by without
acknowledging that love. As far as I was concerned,
Grandmother Hightower stayed in my thoughts long after the
first school bell ring and classes began. Sometimes, at
lunchtime, I would produce more smiles. You know why? Cause
Grandmother Hightower would surprise me and I would discover
another one of her sweet, biscuits in my brown paper lunch
Kind Essence offers yoga classes, workshops and retreats.
Contact her at 856-297-7070 or
firstname.lastname@example.org for information regarding
classes in her Wynnefield Studio.