My writer’s group, The Mystic Order of East Alabama Fiction Writers, meets the first Wednesday of every month. We’ve done this for more than 15 years.
There are six of us. At a typical Mystic meeting, we read short pieces of our writing aloud for the others to comment on. Rarely does every one of us bring new work, but invariably we all bring food and wine to share. We started out conducting the meetings “potluck” style, but after a couple of get-togethers with all desserts, we learned to do some minimal coordinating.
The Mystics, other than me, are a traveling bunch of women, and often bring small gifts back from their latest trips. In addition, Gail, the Mystic queen, regularly hosts what she calls “the Great American Give-Away,” at which she offers the rest of us things she doesn’t want anymore: anything from china and crystal to herb tea and scented soap.
This past week I hit the jackpot at the August meeting. Several Mystics brought vegetables from their gardens to share, and since everybody else was going out of town for one reason or another, I came home richer than the farmers’ market in fresh veggies, especially okra.
A little research tells me that okra is a member of the hibiscus family and is also kin to cotton. Its yellow blooms are beautiful and attract bees. I am adding okra to my list of things to plant next summer.
I ate well this week, thanks to my Mystic sisters. My “mystic vision” for next summer includes a bed of okra that I can boil, fry, oven-broil, pickle, and add to many, many pots of delicious gumbo.
Marian Carcache welcomes
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