Why did God make chocolate?
One of my five-year-old boys asks me during lunch, oozing
nutella on the table from his graham cracker sandwich. I explain to Judah
who is my favorite—also the worst boy in the summer camp—well, chocolate comes from beans on trees called ‘cacao’ and they all say eww! and gross! Judah glares at his Lunchable
like it has personally betrayed him, while our only three-year-old Andrew shrieks, I’m
ALLERGIC to legumes!
Judah has asked me why
Ram’s eyes are small, how can his mother be white?
and why are you brown like a crayon?
I said because some people are chocolate and some people are vanilla
but both are good, and thank God no one decided to shout how much
they hated vanilla or chocolate.
Because of course they don’t say, they shout.
Now he has me curious on why chocolate was invented.
The bitter cacao beans are boiled, stirred smooth with rich, creamy butter
and sugar like a sword, beaten, cooled, beaten down until every imperfection has
evaporated and all that remains on the wax paper is smooth chocolate.
I remember licking the bowl of my birthday cakes, the chocolate
coating my nose and sticking to my baby hairs
as I dived into the eight-cup glass.
I figure now, as a grownup who celebrates Wine Down Wednesdays
God made chocolate because he thought it would pair well
with strawberries and champagne.
i have been carrying all of my babies on my hips since i was born screaming
more as the flesh on my newborn hip dissolved more with each polio drop
when i crash my body into a doorframe the sorries pour from my mouth
a salve for my child the guilt of a mother forgetting her motherhood for a moment
the guilt of a mother asking babe is it ethical for us to have kids
rocking my unbornfirstborn against my fidgeting is it ethical to have kids after peshawar
my forehead pressed against the Kaaba i feel my babies climb up my back press
noses against me hands on my head ya allah let me deliver safely deliver safety
maybe my babies are a fever dream one where i miscarry my never-was sister
maybe my babies are a promise a fixture a reminder that if not my babies
someone’s babies maybe my babies are our babies all dark curls lashes and hooded eyes
maybe my babies don’t matter not yet but they will
maybe my babies won’t be born for their sake for our sake
maybe the pain in my back on my hips crashing eager for vaccines
is a promise a fixture a reminder that if not my babies babies still
held-nurtured-phantom-mothered a reminder that if not my babies
they were/are/will be someone’s somewhere
From birth, baptism, barmitzvah, upanayanam
Ceremonies using water, fire, elements of earth
Rituals followed, the circle of friends, family and
Relatives shower their blessings on the child.
Most cultures have amulets, talismans to ward off evil
Invoking blessings from a higher power to help one
face life’s long journey of trial and tribulations.
Worn around the neck or wrist, prayers are chanted.
Navratna,the nine gems, reflecting the nine planets
with the ruby at the centre, the gem for the sun
the pearl shimmering softly the moon, diamond for
Venus, red coral for Mars, blue sapphire for Saturn
The ancients looked up at the sky cosmology or astrology
colours were chosen, yellow sapphire for Jupiter. An emerald for
Mercury, Rahu and Ketu with hessonite and cat’s eye amber
Strung in a manimala, worn as a beautiful piece of jewellery.
Navratna is buried in the foundations of a new home
Given as a gift to a bride, precious stones in a necklace
Worn with love, imploring the planets to shed a gentle
And benign light on mankind’s transient life on earth.
Note: Navratna- nine gems
Manimala- a necklace of gems