One of our most enjoyable parts of daily living has to do with our mouth. This ‘oral’ organ, the one part of body which allows us to speak through it, consists primarily of our lips and our tongue. Oh, of course, there is so much more to it than that but let’s keep it simple for the sake of this discussion.
I was thinking today of how, when we are wee small children, we first ‘discover’ our mouths. I’m sure a lot of us probably sucked on our thumbs from time to time, seeking a source of comfort somehow. Our mouths are so important to us, don’t you agree? Providing access by which we communicate with one another…providing, at the same time, access by which we are able to survive life with sustenance in the form of the intake of food.
I was thinking of all the things that my mouth has done in my lifetime. It has actually been very busy! I remember eating huckleberries as a small child, the purple hues staining my lips and tongue and, oh, the glorious sweet taste of them! I am not even sure that huckleberries even exist anymore. What a shame if they don’t…another slice of Americana lost to the boom of construction in Florida. I remember my mouth puckering up instantly the first time I tried a persimmon that wasn’t quite ripe! Wow. Now that is a tartness you don’t forget anytime soon! I also remember the first time I had lobster, the sweet delicate meat dipped in butter…ahhh, that’s a tasty memory right there!
I remember my mouth, my tongue in particular, being a source of amusement for my older relatives when I was about 4 years old. They would have me hold my tongue with a thumb and index finger and then ask me to say, “I got down inside of a ditch”. Yeah, go on, try it. Kind of sounds like, “Goddamn son-of-a-bitch”, doesn’t it? Yeah…I was quite entertaining at family reunions to a bunch of half-drunk older people! And all with my mouth!
School was a big part of my mouth’s growing up period. I remember my mouth being used for lots of things of a more learned nature – the debate team, Spanish club, music class, as well as just for chitchatting with my friends in school, something which often led to me being in trouble, because of my mouth! But I was always polite, another thing my mouth made sure of…teachers were to be respected, as individuals who were wise beyond comprehension.
I remember too a ““, that butterflies in the stomach feeling, of hoping you are doing ‘it’ right, scared of , scared they won’t like you, scared they’ll like you too much! Yes, surely my lips trembled on that day. I remember also the first kiss that I gave my new babies, that gentle sweep of lips to forehead, feeling their tender skin beneath my tender lips, instantly filling me with pride and such a sense of motherhood. No mother will ever forget that first kiss. And all because of that glorious unsung hero, the mouth.
Well, yes, the mouth is a hero! You didn’t know that? Come on! What is it that yells for help when a fire breaks out in the neighborhood? The mouth! Or when we see someone being attacked? The mouth! HELPPPPPPPPPP! Oh yeah, it’s the mouth! The eyes take it in, the ears hear it all, the hands may wave about it, the nose may smell trouble but it’s the mouth, that hero of heroes, who leaps into action and wakes up the rest of the neighbors!
So, let’s give praise today for the wonderful organ of the body that we sometimes take for granted – the mouth. And notice, if you will, I didn’t mention sex once. So, we won’t even get started there but rather we’ll end here.