Melting Pot

There is No Shelter in Either/Or

For years I have been hearing that the “Goddess is emerging”. I have understood the statement to mean that when the feminine energies are brought into balance with the masculine energies, people, in wholeness, can exist in harmony with all life. What does harmony look like in practical…

Blossom: Discovering Dr. Joyce Brown

As a Garden Spices Contributor, Dr. Joyce Brown has graced our pages with her many insights on caregiving, education, and affirming the beauty of life. However, nothing is more heart rendering than when she lets us peek into her family’s strength, revealing the foundation for how she became…

Shelter: Heitz Hall 1968–69

Bradley University, class of 1971, represented the most significant number of black women enrolling at one time. Unless you came with a friend and requested her as a roommate, the university decided each black girl should have a white roommate. On the cusp of womanhood and away from…

Acculturation: Coming of Age in America’s Heartland

Acculturation is the cultural modification of people by adapting to another culture. Growing up in Rockford, Illinois during the 50s, ’60s, and ’70s, black people were expected to change to housing, education, and employment settings designed for whites only. In the September 1949 issue of Life magazine, postwar Rockford was described…

Unknown Culture

As a young child, I was made aware of my heritage. My maternal grandmother is Mexican from the southwestern border of Arizona, and my maternal grandfather is Italian, a man from Pennsylvania, whose parents came from the tip of the boot of the country of Italy. Family rumors…

Scanning Bangkok Series:#3

People I loved Bangkok! The busyness of the streets awakened my senses – delectable food smells on every corner, the vibrancy of the colors, fashion, and ornate temples, but I cannot feel the pleasure of any trip unless the warmth of the people touches me. They did. In…

Food for Thought

It was Pitru Paksha or the fortnight when Hindus remember their Pitra or ancestors. In the lunar calendar the two weeks are sandwiched between the Ganesh festival and Navratri Goddess festival corresponding to the Krishna Paksh or waning fortnight of the Bhadrapada (September) moon. It is believed that…

Sarin’s Thai: Home Cooking

I got to eat from Sarin’s table almost daily while visiting Bangkok.  Each day there was culinary delight, emanating from the way she prepared dishes to the display and taste, nothing but love.-Victorine Sea Bass with Curried rice and shoots veggies What I learned:  Soak whole fish in…

Trauma-informed Community Movement

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore, choose life, that you and your offspring may live. – Deuteronomy 30:15 (NIV)  Health is more than the absence of disease. – (Author Unknown) The…

Spirit of the South: Art by Lisa Cain

One look at the art work of Lisa Cain, and you can feel the heartbeat of a region only a Southerner would understand.  Her mixed media paintings are Cain’s personal reflection of days gone by, yet they conjure up hope for the simplicity of family and community. Depicting…