Of Watering My roots
From the Earth we are born to the Earth we return
–Dust to Dust
I have always found a certain poetry in the symmetry of life…. (Truth be told I see poetry even in the most mundane of places)
The ground beneath our feet, the ground we walk upon, we have a special connection to it, it nurtures us in ways we cannot begin to fathom. There is a reason why where you come from is called the Motherland;
it gave birth to you,
it mothers you
and when your journey is finished,
where it all started,
to the beginning,
a child of the soil (Mwana Wevhu)
or as my friend Masimba would prefer we call it Soil Child (Mwanavhu)
We are no less children of the Earth than the plants and the trees, with their roots digging deep, anchoring them. Our roots, start where we come from, it’s a part of our identity, our heritage, past and beginning. How can you truly know, where you going? If you don’t know where you have come from and why you are where you are now?………
Your roots just like those of any plant need watering.
For us culturally, it’s a natural question to ask when you meet someone; where they come from, (kumusha) to find out if you are possible kin and possibly get an insight on what to expect from you. Yes, a geographic location by itself wont define your character but generally people in the same locale tend to behave in the same way, speak the same dialect have similar beliefs, its the psychology of socialisation.
When you are asked where you come from (unobva kupi?) its not simply asking you where your home is or where your parents are? Its asking you where your family tree starts, where your kin are?…..
I come from Masogwe; Neshuro in the Mwenezi District of the Masvingo province; Zimbabwe.
Google maps can even zoom into our family homestead,
its impressive and just a little bit scary. No one is there now, but this where my paternal grandparents lived. We would visit every school holiday and every Christmas, without failure.
They are departed now and the family doesn’t meet as often as it used to. Mostly we now meet there for funerals, that’s the sad truth. The last time I was there was Christmas 2016, it wasn’t a funeral it was just to meet and catch up, a cow was slaughtered and for a little bit felt like the Christmas of yesteryear….
We made promises that this year we would visit more, but its been nine month and I haven’t returned, I feel like a prodigal child sometimes. It might be because its just a place and no one is there anymore, or its even worse or we slowly forgetting were we come from?
Have we lived so long in the “modern” world, we cant go back to a place where there is no electricity, (but there is a cellphone network service), it is drought prone area, in the natural region 4 and 5 temperatures are scorching hot all year round.
That means water is hard to find, you go to a borehole quite far away to fetch water and when it rains you give thanks, because you water is life.
There is a mountain, it is quite mysterious, it seems volcanic in nature although they say in Zimbabwe the are no volcanic mountains but I constantly wonder about this one.
When it gets really hot and dry, smoke can be seen smouldering at its peak, sometimes a red glow can be seen on a moonless night, as if its about to erupt and every time it does this you know it will rain soon, it always rains…..
I worry the next generation will forget this little intricacies and the meaning behind all these mysteries, my grand parents took all their secrets with them and I write a few of them and that is why I write, so that I never forget and one day some will remember……
This is how I water my roots
Day 19 blog every day challenge