Grandmom Lula Mae is beautifully dressed in elegant baby blue suede and we are sitting together on the front porch. Her hands are as soft as a child’s – delicate and ultra-feminine with her fuchsia nails. In dramatic contrast, she also has the opposite energy that is rugged, rigid, and masculine – John Wayne-like. She has always been a powerful balance between delicate and strong, feminine and sturdy.
She wants pink lotus tea and says I can only harvest it from the swamp where the air is hard to breathe and where the alder tree lives that bleeds red when the bark is cut. I am not excited about sloshing through the stink.
As she hands over the Farmer’s Almanac, Grandmom tells me that this special pink lotus only blooms at night and must be harvested in the darkness of the new moon at low tide. I complain that I will not be able to see in the dark and she says, “Conjure women can see what is hidden in the dark, can smell what will rise gloriously from the mud, and can taste the sweetness hidden in the stink.”