6.27.2010

xantolo

"...Nahuatl people celebrated the sacred in ordinary objects, and encouraged living and spirit realities to meet up in the here and now...the concept of "death" as an ending did not exactly exist for them.  When Aztec people left their bodies, they were presumed to be on an exciting trip through the ether.  It wasn't something to cry about, except that the living still wanted to visit with them.  People's sadness was not for the departed, but for themselves, and could be addressed through ritual visiting called Xantolo, an ordinary communion between the dead and the living.  Mexican tradition still holds that Xantolo is always present in certain places and activities, including wild marigold fields, the cultivation of corn, the preparation of tamales and pan de muerto.  Interestingly, farmers' markets are said to be loaded with Xantolo."

- barbara kingsolver in animal, vegetable, miracle

three years ago today, my beloved dad died...


i woke up today feeling very sad about this.

it's hard to believe that time can pass both quickly and slowly in matters of the heart.

i miss my dad.

when i was small, we spent lots of time together outside.  specifically, i remember being with him in our garden.  planting, harvesting, bringing summery vegetables to our dinner table.  he really loved to eat the amazing things my mom made from our harvest - sweet roasted tomatoes, spicy rhubarb cake, moist zucchini bread, creamy cold cucumber salad, and plates of fresh scallions served with little piles of salt for dipping.

i decided that i wanted to spend my time today in a celebratory place, a place loaded with xantolo, so i could visit with my dear dad.

so kevwrex and i spent the morning at the local farmers' market...









"When I cultivate my garden I'm spending time with my grandfather, sometimes recalling deeply buried memories of him, decades after his death...that's Xantolo, a memory space opened before my eyes, which has no name in my language."

- barbara kingsolver in animal, vegetable, miracle

5 comments:

sara said...

xantolo is a lovely concept...i think you spent your day wisely :) Here's to your dad!
xo -s

MeeshOne.Love said...

there is something about being connected with the earth that lets us feel awakened. so much love sister. xo.

Hearthandmade said...

I agree with Sara! It was a beautiful idea and a great place to feel connected! Much love to you xo

ALFIE said...

i love barbara kingsolver's book.

this post is so full of emotion--and your love for your dad. i am close with my father too--and when we are separated one day-- i know i will have this lovely place to find him.

btw--your farmers market finds are fabulous as well!! the rhubarb, cactus and berries look divine!

Fritzi Marie said...

Dear Friend,

It looks like you made the most of a hard day. I'm so sorry to read about your Daddy.

I'm gearing up for the ten year anniversary of my Daddy's death. It's next week and I always hope that it will get easier, maybe it has a little. I haven't been able to celebrate the 4th of July properly in 10 years. My plan is to celebrate this year.

Here's to you and your Daddy and the memories you will always have.

Sending love and hugs,
Fritzi Marie