Garlic Angel

I boil garlic for a half an hour so it’s easy to peel.  Its flavor sneaks into many recipes, and quite frankly, its medicinal functions have kept me in optimal health, despite my MS.  I understand that in France garlic farmers sell it in braids standing on the corners of roads; I can imagine wearing two strands as leis.  Leaving the pearls of bulbs aside, since I can prepare a feast for a group with my eyes closed, I have thoroughly enjoyed discovering the beauty of all I touch to peel, and chop eyes open.  I have a few regrets for not having the camera handy at just the right moment to capture the pose striking a one on one conversation.  Lucky to have found this angel after disassembling the garlic cloves…

It was gift.  I think of Kris Kristofferson’s  humbling lyrics in the song “Why Me Lord?”  This angel stayed with me for years watching my every move.  I feared it would disintegrate on the last move, so I photographed it and framed it.  My garlic angel oversees the meals.  I even give it credit for its heart-shaped countenance…  Is it no wonder I call it a blessing to be met in such meaningful ways, just half way from earth to heaven?  I am so grateful.

My father taught me three prayers:  The Lord’s Prayer most will recognize, another one to my Heavenly Father, and the third to my Guardian Angel, in Romanian. I’ll do my best to translate the last one.

Angel of mine, given to me by God, always be with me and teach me to do good.  I am small, make me big; I am weak, keep me strong; be with me by my side everywhere, and protect me from any or all wrong. “

Romanian was my first language though I was born in Brazil.  I learned to speak Portuguese in a wonderful Catholic school, Nossa Señora D’Assuncao, in Niteroi.  The prayer has its room in my heart.  I whisper it in my thoughts and sometimes say it out loud.

I learned to say the Lord’s Prayer in two more languages: Spanish and English.

”  When anyone prays, the angels that minister to God and watch over mankind gather round about him and join him in prayer. “ __Origin

The translation for the prayer to our Heavenly Father goes like this :

“Lord, Lord, Heavenly Father, we pray to You to illumine our minds to learn to do good deeds for you are the Creator of the world and our Father, and all that is right You implement.”

Romanian, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and French are the five Romance languages so they have similarities.  However, let’s take the word garlic in the last four languages mentioned:  ALHO is in Portuguese, AJO is in Spanish, AGLIO in Italian, and AIL in French.  I failed to find its common origin yet can share with you a word some of you may already know AIOLI, a Mediterranean Mayonnaise dressing best known as “the soul of the salad.”  Yum.

As it turns out, the Romanian USTUROI is said to have something  to do with witches and evil spirits and I beg to argue.  I read that it originated from the Latin word STRIGOI , and that may be true, however, “STRIG” in Romanian means scream.  The word for witches literally translates as “forest Mom”…  Maybe whoever wrote that meant to say that since Transylvania was brought up, it had to do with scary Vampires.  Who knows?  Maybe garlands of garlic warded off the neck sting.  Yikes.  Languages are fascinating and I love English best.

On a lighter note, let us consider this quote as I would love your comment :

“I have been on the verge of being an angel all my life, but it’s never happened yet.” __Mark Twain


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