Land Of Water


Photo: Guyana, by Joshua Gobin on Unsplash


“Have we always been here?”

“‘Always’ is a long-winded word,” Papa’s melodic voice told me a story was coming. “Some people lived here before our ancestors. Some had come after we’d already been here. The land and the water were here before any humans had come. The word ‘always’ does not mean one thing.”

“Moses said we’re not from here. That we were brought here as slaves.”

“Are you a slave?”

“No, Papa.”

“Are you here?”

“Yes, Papa.”

“You and I are Guyana born. Have you worked this land, swam in the Essequibo, witnessed Kiaeteur Falls, walked the savanna, ate manioc?”

“I have.”

“So you have your answer, Son. We’re all children of land and water. All born of wombs filled with water, all depend on water, and will one day become rain and go over the falls. Your ancestors got here. You’re here. Where else would you be from?”



For What Pegman Saw: Guyana, South America



35 thoughts on “Land Of Water

  1. You’re such a great storyteller. πŸ’š

    Adele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D.

    Liked by 1 person

    • πŸ™‚ In essence, of course, your daughter is right … And yet, there is also the wish/need for people to know more about the path their DNA had taken, and what history it might speak of. In the end, it is about where one is comfortable. I have friends for whom the DNA test allowed closure they did not feel till then. I have friends who don’t wish or need to know more specifics. There’s no one right way, and today, there are ways that weren’t open to people in the last century. So there’s that, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think it’s different in US and Canada because of amount of immigration. Yet in UK those who are newcomers know they’re newcomers, to the rest of us, we’re the indigenous, thus why should we fuss about where we’re from. Yet the East of England has been heavily settled over the centuries from Scandinavia, Germany and the Lowlands, so there’s more query amongst us.

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      • Yes, I think there is a difference in recent decades in the UK and Europe, while in the US and Canada immigration has been part of the make up of the countries for a long time. Even that said, it is not the same all across the US – where in NY and LA and San Francisco, immigration has always been very evident and visible, there are many states and cities and towns within the US that are quite exclusionary and who see the ‘other’ as sticking out and not belonging. In reality, with the exception of First Nations, even those who claim to belong ‘better’ than others, have come from someplace else into the US … I think that newcomers always have some proving-of-themselves to do, but it is still curious to me that there are so many who find it threatening or feel a need to establish a hierarchy of “I was here first, therefore I’m supposedly better than you’ in some form. When they none of them chose where to be born …

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    • Thank you, Rochelle! I’m so glad it got communicated. I am always a little wary of stepping into misappropriating cultural voices or stories or history, but my hope is that my intention of respectfully conveying a small slice of a big story, comes through. I think you’ll understand, seeing how carefully you treat historical tidbits! πŸ™‚


  2. So true of every nation. If you work the land, live with it, if you’re striving for the country and its ways and people, how can you be other than part of that land? A lesson more people could do with learning, especially here in the UK at the moment! Great story, Na’ama

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