(Essay) To Honour the Grandmothers by Majidi Warda

Author's Maternal Great-Grandmother
Author’s Maternal Great-Grandmother

Today, I honour the grandmothers. The wise ones who walked this earth before.

In my community, the grandmothers are passing. This is their time to leave. I honour their stories of hardship and their stories of migration.

I honour the grandmothers who were married too young in order to serve husbands and communities.

I honour the grandmothers who upheld the traditions and kept the customs. The grandmothers who sewed the sacred cloth and stirred simmering pots of stew that nourished their families. I honour the grandmothers who kept close the sacred seed, and knew exactly what to plant and when.

Exactly what to sow, exactly what to harvest, and exactly what to let lie dormant in the earth when the winter came.

I honour the grandmothers who stayed silent when they were urged to speak.

I honour the grandmothers who spoke when they were urged to stay silent.

I honour the grandmothers who endured, who laughed, who celebrated.

I honour the grandmothers that suffered. The grandmothers with missing sons and daughters. The grandmothers separated from their mothers.

Author's Paternal Grandmother
Author’s Paternal Grandmother

The grandmothers that survived genocide.

Around the globe I honour the grandmothers. I honour their crinkly skin and their soft, trembling hands. I honour their fiery tempers and their hairy chins. I honour their lumpy shapes and the shuffle in their walk. I honour their throaty coughs from too many cigarettes and laughter. I honour their stories shared, and their stories kept hidden.

As we enter into Deep Winter here in the Southern Hemisphere, we lay the grandmothers to rest in the Deep Earth. They nourish us still.

 

Read Meet Mago Contributor Majidi Warda.