In a Cupful.

“Wat ein schon blom!”

Cried out my Oma’s young son – the beauty of the flower.

So captivating, he forgot all about the rabbits he was chasing with his brother, who was now cross with the mistake he made.

My Oma – my grandmother – watched on.

Stirring her famous soup.

It was the soup she made when soldiers entered her home, about to leave for war. Needing a place to stay and a warm meal – a mother’s glance.

The end was close.

The soldiers she met were old men and young boys.

The boys: full of excitement for adventure yet to befall them.

The men: crying.

They knew a different end was near.

My Oma – my grandmother – watched on.

Pouring cups of warmth into their cold hands.

It was the soup she made when her husband entered her home. Said they were leaving. For a new world, where they didn’t speak the language, traversing seas they could never cross back upon.

Saying irreversible goodbyes.

They packed their memories into boxes and folded their house into a seashell.

Her boys: full of excitement for adventure yet to befall them.

Her husband: yearning for luck in Australia’s every corner.

And months passed upon the seas.

The waves: a cradle to her sons’ youthful cries.

The oceans having tantrums alongside them.

And my Oma sang them the lullabies of her namesake. Melodies of “Ave Maria” ringing through the wind, calming both the seas and her boys across the chaos of cold nights.

And months passed in a boat. A family living amongst a patchwork of people, keeping each other warm.

People blanketing each other from calamity.

Holding each other close, as a rocking cradle becomes violent seas.

Holding each other close across the chaos of cold nights.

My Oma – my grandmother – stood and watched on from a new shore.

Pouring the sand out of her shoes, promising her sons a cup of soup in their new home.

A new home.49378830_450271205506974_1630100875227693056_n

Because it was the soup she made when her husband entered her home.

Said they were leaving once again.

He’d wished their home away on a stroke of bad luck.

A swooping arm.

A drunken glance.

When livelihood ran low, my Oma would add an extra cup of water to the broth.

She fed her children soup that spanned further, and washed away their fears.

Her children: still remembering the soup they came home to after chasing rabbits.

Her husband: never having tasted soup so rich.

My Oma – my grandmother – watched on, as her children grew.

It was the soup she’d eventually teach my mother to make.

Passing down lives in a cupful.

Pouring her history into a pot and swirling decades of stories into a narrative of the life she’d lived.

49368810_220767942056094_3388470540728532992_nAnd my mother brought her soup when she fell ill.

Hoping it could heal all affliction, even when it couldn’t.

Her siblings: sipping of the soup to heal their grief.

Her children: sipping of something generations lead them to.

My Oma – my grandmother – watched on.

Her history left behind.

2 Comments

  1. Elly

    Oooh so beautiful ,such a nice memories ,and ofcourse the soup ,was delicious ,when we came to Australia we went to visit your Mum and Dad ,she gave us that delicious soup ,and ques what ,my kids said “Oma’s soup” Yes your Mum and My mum came from the same area Petronella ,They both were great cooks and were good friends together .

    Like

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