Illuminated Memories

Illuminated Memories
My aunt, at 88, remembers a time without electricity, where irons needed coals. Memories of the interior of Ceará highlight the simplicity and richness of family life, even with difficulties such as food storage and slow communication. Ancient times were scarce in resources but rich in humanity and personal connection.
Video Duration: 
Naiana Souza
Tuesday, May 14, 2024

“Wow... How everything changes.” That's what my 88-year-old aunt once said when she watched me ironing clothes.

She went on to say: “These days, things are much simpler. In my time, we had to use hot coals inside the iron to be able to do exactly what you are doing. Today, all you have to do is plug it in and everything is resolved.”
This comment, in addition to making me reflect, awakened many memories in me.
I live in a district of a small city in the interior of Ceará, Brazil, and when I was growing up, we went to visit an even more remote village, called Cipó, where there was no electricity at the time.

I remember the difficulties in storing food and even drinking ice-cold water during the heat of summer. Still, the water we were served seemed to have a special flavor. Anyone who has ever drunk water from a pot knows...

To maintain hygiene, no one drank water from the glass used to take water from the pot, one glass to take and another to serve.
In other dialogues with my mother and aunt, they told me that, when they didn't have access to a refrigerator. To preserve the little meat they had at home, they had to salt and dry it. In other cases, preserve it in the food's own fat.
Grains, only dried ones. Flour was kept in huge wooden coffins.
There were times when, when a distant relative passed away, it took hours or even days for the news to arrive.
But the curious thing is that even though we talk about the difficulties of that time, these reports are not of sadness or lamentation. And what it seems to me is that these were difficult times for resources, but plentiful for humanity.
The conversations were in person.

Laughter was often followed by a pat on the back. Elderly people, now neglected, were protagonists in story circles. Legends were feared, and allowed a little of our imagination to become reality.


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