Apollo's Daughter at the foot of the Parthenon, Athens, Greece, 9 months.
Ah lawdy, lawd, dios mio. Forgive me, but I secretly recorded my daughter and her friend. (There’s an app for that,)
I had to.
The conversation was just too funny and rich and it showed me all too boldly that my daughter is a cubana en la sangre, for she is fascinated by symbols and gods and goddesses.
It comes naturally and it has exploded since she recently read The Lightning Thief (a gift from her amiga, Marta) and then all the other books in the series by Rick Riordan, which describe half-blood children with characteristics of the Greek gods and goddesses who fathered or bore them. She has read and re-read them several times.
As I drove along this week, what I heard between my girl and her friend reminded me of the story my mother tells of being pregnant with me when an espiritista/Santera friend told her the baby girl in her womb was “una hija de La Caridad” or Ochun in the Yoruba religion and Santeria.
I have been reminded many hundreds of times “que le pida a La Caridad,” a mi Santa, a coquettish, moody goddess, ruler of sensuality, refinement and one who rules the rivers. (She’s also the Patron Saint of Cuba.)
When you grow up Cuban, you have, at minimum, working knowledge and understanding of the different characteristics of los hijos de Yemaya, Babablú, Ochun, Chango and the rest of the mighty gods. It happens through osmosis, even if it isn’t practiced in your family.
She used to make altars. I can only imagine what my kid would know, and cling to, if she was growing up in the South Florida soup of spirits and saints…and “trabajos.”
So, the conversation:
Maria to Friend: “When you touch plants, do you feel sort of like the plant is responding to you?”
Friend: “Yeah. Kind of.”
M: “You’re probably a Demeter. They’re not very aggressive, but they have this thing with outdoors and nature.”
M: “Would you sit out in every activity and check your reflection in the lake and do your hair and gossip?”
F: “What kind of a wierdo would do that?”
F: “There is the possibility (of you being a daughter) of Athena.”
M: “Do my eyes look stormy gray to you?”
F: “Ah, good point.”
M: “But, in personality, I am probably most like her.”
While I could see my daughter being a child of the warrior goddess, Athena, Maria believes she is the daughter of Apollo, god of prophecy, healing, music and archery. (She’s really, really good at Wii Archery, it appears.)
I fell last week and badly skinned my knee. She made me a “potion” to help me feel better. It was juice and water in a vial from her chemistry set.
I swear, I think she’s a Santera-in-the-making.