People, animals & the land: an Irob love story

I use refer to her as the daughter of farmers. Nah. She’s the farmer and I’m the daughter. That misconception I had is so telling of how little I know about my moms life in Ethiopia, in her birth country, in the wild. As children our narrative of our parents start with our earliest memories of them as our parents and nothing else. It doesn’t occur to us that they were someone before that. That they went through puberty, that they didn’t always have the breast that nourished me, that they were once insecure about their hair or body type. Watching her in the wild, at home, made me realize just how much of her has been erased since migrating to the US. How much of her she’s dialed down to assimilate. Where her knowledge of what is important comes from. My mother is in tune and always has been. She grew up barefoot with mountains as a backdrop and cattle as friends. She’s always carried “but did you die” energy. A year in Ethiopia allowed me to really see my mom, in her element, in her natural habitat. I was looking for her one morning, and this is where I found her. Laying with Datti (Black in Saho) tied around her waist so Datti’s mama didn’t go far. The connection between the animals, land and it’s people is a connection we need not forget. The Irob people, the animals and the land is a love story I am so grateful I got to witness. One I have a deep love and interest in. One I hope to tell more stories about. Ones that keep us rooted and connected.