As I sat in the kitchen, in the quietness, texting back my sister, I got really homesick.
She was just concern of me being sick and she mentioned how she would love to cook rice porridge for me. It’s a comforting food that we make in the Philippines when we are sick.
After thanking her, I felt how difficult it is to be miles away with the closest women in my life – her and mother.
I thought of my mother who would quickly call for a medicine man or woman who uses different kinds of herbs, steamy coals in a coconut shell, who would blow air all over your head as they whisper their Latin prayers. If not, (and when it’s not available in out home), she would look for a particular plant from our neighbors that we can take or apply to our body as a medicine. One of which, and very known, is Oregano leaves (Calabo in our dialect) for coughing. She would mash it until she got enough juice. We never liked it. It tasted and smelled gross but she would add brown sugar, and spoon fed us with it. There is another one that is very common and we look like karate kids in the house the way we use it, the Turmeric leaves, popularly known as Dulaw. This is good for colds, headaches, cough and fever. We’d apply 2 leaves on our forehead using a bandana wrap around to keep it on. She would always use this approach to treat our symptoms before seeing a professional care provider.
But I am thankful for the technology we have. I could talk to her and see her everyday and feel like I am right there especially when we talk early in the morning, their time (late afternoon, our time) when I can hear the rooster “cockadoodledooing” and my sister yelling to her kids waking them up for breakfast and getting ready for school.
And… the rice porridge, I made it. It was good. Thank you for my sister who gave me tips how to cook it they way she does.
Well, I hope I am well for my next post.
God bless everyone!