Monday, May 26, 2014

CLEAN SWEEP{from the JUMP FOR JOY series}

Warrior Zamora  was happy as a lark.  She was building her dream house and watched as each room took  its rightful place.  She had kept the photo she had cut out from a magazine, in a small box that that kept her important papers.  It was crumpled some but still visible enough for the Architect to make a blue print.  And now she looked with pride at the big beautiful house and although she knew she did not need as many rooms, she wanted them anyhow.

Today she is celebrating six months in the immaculately kept abode.  This is the day she plans to bring friends and family together to give thanks for this house.  She had an extensive menu and still had a lot of preparation to make.  Zamora looked up at the huge framed picture in the splendid living room.  The portrait was that of Grandma Fannie and Ma Shirley, Zamora's grandmother and mother.
They looked like women of power even behind a wooden frame.  Zamora looked up and asked them to take care of her, to protect her and lead her down the right path.

The music flowed through each room, the voice of her favorite jazz singer could be heard belting out her favorite tune.  This music to her ears brought music to her soul.  Zamora sang along, closed her eyes and moved to the beat.  She was caught up in her satisfaction with the way she was living.  She looked up at the women one more time and silently thanked the matriarchs for the ethics they had instilled in her.  "Stay true to thyself" was their mantra.

These God-fearing women as they liked to call themselves took their role in the church and community very seriously.  They made their presence known when they felt justice was not served.  These women never backed down until things were made right.  Even the detractors had words of praise for these warrior women who made things happen.  Family, they preached was the crux of everything, whether it was the one you were born in or those in the communities far or near.  Zamora
threw a quick glance at her guardian angels and knew they were watching over her.  She could feel their presence and at times she thought she heard their belly laughs.

She had paused long enough, lost in her thoughts and must get cracking if she wanted to complete her tasks before the crowd arrived.  She took the broom and gave the kitchen floor a CLEAN SWEEP.  This huge kitchen was the center of her home.  This is where she prepared those tasty dishes that she is known for around town.  She came from a long line of caterers and from the stories she had heard, this was the family that you visited for mouth-watering dishes.

So it was not by chance that Zamora found herself on the same journey, carrying on the family tradition; it was in the genes.  Today's gathering was two-fold, to show gratitude to those who had supported her over the years and to also introduce her new line of food products which she wanted to see on the shelves in the local markets around town.  She had a few restaurants that were steady customers, but Zamora was bent on making a CLEAN SWEEP of this culinary corner,so this event was also a marketing venue.

Zamora had big dreams, instilled in her by the matriarchs and she had the fortitude to carry her dreams through.  The smell of spices was like perfume in the air.  She loved her spices. Zamora would visit the markets out of town and picked out her favorites but at the same time hoping to discover something new.  A good mixture of spices she knew would bring out the taste in the delectable dishes she wanted to create and be known for.  The amber colors on the kitchen walls gave a special warmth to the room and the sunshine coming through the big window gave a cozier feel.  Her spice cupboard was stacked with different seasonings from all over the globe and she was always cooking up a storm and experimenting.  Not only did she want to cook tasty food but healthy dishes was on her mind too. She began to move fast, cleared her mind and she glanced one more time at the ladies on the wall before stepping up her game.

It was an event that was second to none.  Zamora had paid attention to the smallest details, the presentation was a delight, the sweet and savory dishes were superb and the mouth-watering desserts completed the spread.  And what she had hoped for came true.  Someone in the crowd loved her cuisine and decided to show her the rope.  This kind soul had made a clean sweep of this same culinary corner in another town but knew there is room for others and could guide her.  She would remove some of the rough pebbles, filled the potholes and although she may not be able to fully pave the road, the path will be made clear for Zamora to begin to showcase her handiwork.

Zamora was on cloud nine and as she bade her last guest a safe journey home, she JUMPED FOR JOY.  Tomorrow she would follow-up with Jamieson Ford who promise to 'hold her by the hand'  Jamieson was a successful business woman, who understood the importance of giving back and knew Zamora would benefit immensely.

Although she had worked all day sleep would not come.  She placed Jamieson's calling card in a safe spot, right on the table under the matriarchs' portrait.  She trimmed her budding plants, watered them and add some nourishment, mindful that they too must be cared for in order to thrive.  She has vowed to take care of herself and the things that mattered to her even when her life became too hectic.  Good music, green healthy plants, spices that lit up the air with sweet smelling scents, made her JUMP FOR JOY one more time, then she dimmed the light and crawled into bed.

A mere week had passed since this merriment and things were rolling along when the unthinkable happened; where her beautiful 'palace' once stood were ashes and broken objects strewn around, fire had engulfed the place she called home.  When the firemen left, she continued staring at the ruins in disbelief and she began reasoning with herself.
             "I am doing great with my career.
               No lives were lost.  Something made
               a clean sweep of my castle,
               but I can build again"

She began to leave and turned around one more time and in the rubbles was the framed photo of the matriarchs that graced her living room.  She pulled it out, not even a scratch was visible and she JUMPED FOR JOY.  This was a sign and she knew for sure that she would build again.  As she walked away, she recalled a poem by RUNI.

                 "This being human is a guest house.
                   Every morning a new arrival.
                   A joy, a depression, meanness
                   Some momentary awareness comes
                   As a unexpected visitor.
                   Welcome and entertain them all!
                    Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
                    Who violently swept your house
                     Empty of its furniture.
                     Still, treat each guest honorably.
                     He may be cleaning you out
                     For some delight"

Questions for CLEAN SWEEP

  1. She was called Warrior Zamora in the beginning but never throughout the story. Why was she introduced this way?
  2. Zamora kept glancing at the portrait of the matriarchs.  Do you think she truly believed they were watching over her? Explain.
  3. She seemed not to be able to make a move without looking up to the matriarchs, was that because she was afraid of missteps?  What do you think?
  4. Was Jamieson another guardian angel sent to help Zamora?  Talk about a time that someone 'held you by the hand'
  5. Zamora jumped for joy even in the midst of tragedy, what is the message here?
  6. When there was a time that you jumped for joy?