Three memories of my grandmother

by Saúl Miranda Ramos

When I was a child I used to spend time with my grandmother. Her house was filled of náhuas traditions. Today, after 20 years, those experiences make me being nostalgic. The smell of cempoalxóchitl, the sound of the violin and the guitar, and the sight of candles remind me of my grandmother.

My grandmother used to use an important flower called Cempoalxóchitl, twenty flowers is their meaning in Náhuatl language. First of all, she used to grow these flowers in June. The exact date she sends someone to sow is June 24th. Next, each November she used to decorate the offering to the dead; furthermore, at these days her house was filled of flowers and their smell. All in all, for my grandmother these flowers were too important in the practice of their beliefs.
Daily, my grandmother used to hear marvelous traditional music. In Cuetzalan, the place where are her roots, ancestral music is made by a guitar and a violin. This kind of music is called Xochipitzahuak (Fine Flower) and Santo Son (Sacred Song). In addition, this traditional music is the music my grandmother used to dance in a respectful dance when she was a young lady.  In the dance, people use a necklace made by Cempoalxóchitl and other flowers which they exchange at moment of dancing. To sum up, my grandmother used to hear the music of Xochipitzahuak and those sounds remember me her.

My grandmother used to light candles in special moments of her life. In one hand, in happy moments she lighted candles. For instance, when the harvest was good, she put the light at the altar. It was the same when she welcomes important guests. In contrast to, in bad moments like when she was scared because of a storm or when she was alone at night she used to light a candle too. Also, in commemorative moments when she shows respect to the dead, the mother of the land (Tonantzin), the windy, the thunders, and the rain she lighted a candle. When these elements presented she respectfully lighted a candle. In short, her life was around the fire of candles and that is why candles remember me my grandmother.

In conclusion, having shared experiences with my grandmother in my childhood makes me remember her when I smell flowers like Cempoalxóchitl, ear the sound of the violin and the guitar or when I see the light of a candle. Perhaps these objects were so important to her and her culture. 


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