Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Scent of Samoa

Ginger @ Laie Temple


Growing up in Samoa, I hated the smell of ginger flowers in the early morning rains. They smelled like a wet sticky cat to me & the petals wilted too easily in my heavy handed fists. And there weren't enough petals on a ginger flower to play my daily game of  "he loves me/he loves me not".

Teuila's were my childhood favorite - much sturdier & many more petals to pluck & toss in the name of my elementary sweetheart.

(who I will add did not love me at least 4 out of 5 school days but that's okay. I got his number when I got to college!)

I’ve been gone from home for many years & ginger flowers damp with the morning dew are hard to find.

Ginger reminds me of my mother’s garden & how she'd send me to dig up its roots for my grandmother’s chop suey. I'd sneak my dad's good cutting knife & drive it deep in to the rocky earth searching for the youngest sweetest ginger roots. (Yes I chipped his blades. Yes I blamed it on my sister and my brother and the cats)

Sometimes the scent of a ginger lei on warm skin will catch me by surprise & remind me of a brown man with a ginger tucked behind his ear. He used to wear these little ass hugging lime green rugby shorts while riding shot gun in a beat up two door Toyota corolla. He'd stick his head out the window & holler at me from the main road to hurry up with my work so I could meet him at the malae.

(it was beyond embarrassing but strangely endearing)

I miss Samoa ginger flowers terribly.

With Love & Delicious Doings ~
Cy.

1 comment:

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