The Sicilian Orange candle caught my attention. Mother is Sicilian, and so are her parents and brother. Going to their house while I was growing up was a vacation in itself! There were gardens in the back yard, plentiful food, and unconditional love in great abundance!
I was called special names by my grandparents who were also my godparents:
- Poupeida, which is pronounced poo-pee-duh and means 'doll'
- Bedda, which is pronounced bed-duh and means 'good' and 'beautiful'
- Gioia, which is pronounced joy-ia and means 'joy'
- ____-uzza, which is my first name and a diminutive 'oot-za' on it
- Cucuzza, which is pronounced coo-coo-tzuh, which is the name of a squash and means 'stupid' but is very close to my Italianized version of my given name
- bella, which is pronounced 'bell-ah' and means 'beautiful'
- bellisima, which is pronounced 'bell-ee-see-mah' which means 'the most beautfiul'
- queenie, with emphasis on the first syllable and less on the second, Italian-style, but English
Everywhere I turned there was love. And joy. And happiness.
The reason I selected that candle, at first, was to say 'goodbye' to all of the memories at my grandparent's house because it had just sold.
But now, I see the 'flip side' of being Sicilian: you think you are different, possibly even 'better' than everybody else. Imagine the Sicilian in the movie 'The Princess Bride' and you get an exaggerated taste of it. I have never been to Italy. I don't speak Italian. I still carry around all of father's DNA inside of me, even though I never really acknowledged his 'culture' for it was a lot less interesting than mom's side of the family.
It is time for me to accept, on a deep level, that DNA is just that--DNA. And that being able to 'cook' Italian is a wonderful cultural heritage in itself. I can share our culture through food with others. But the foibles--the secrets, the scheming, the judging of who is 'okay' and who is 'in the doghouse', all of the negativity from my past, including dwelling on happy memories from a very long time ago, are finished.
My heart surgeon in fellowship stopped in the middle of surgery, looked up at me across the drapes, and asked, 'How do I know since you are Sicilian your family is not in the Mafia?'
I paused. I paused a good long time. It was a good question. And then the answer came from my heart center, and I laughed, 'Doctor! That one is easy! We were poor!'
He thought that was a good answer.
These candles are releasing me from something that we call Tribal Beliefs. They are passed down from generation to generation, as an unwritten 'rule' that has never been questioned. When you find a deep emotional 'tie' to something in your day-to-day life, examine it. And know that you never have to lug that Tribal Belief around with you ever again, if you don't accept it.
The Magic of being Sicilian is being replaced by the Wonder of being One with every living thing on this planet.