The world, my dear, is dust to rain over and over and again. It is as true as it is sad that relief cannot be had unless some travail happens first. How can we quench unless we thirst?
Those times you go without a trace of raindrops on your upturned face give way to petrichor—they must as finally rain comes down to dust. Bountiful years follow the drought. It is the way the world’s planned out.
Grandparents tell their younger kin that drought is the result of sin or hurricanes our penance for those misdeeds the gods abhor. But this is all mistaken lore dispelled by whiffs of petrichor.
The prompt words for today were trace, kin, bountiful and petrichor ( the pleasant, distinctive smell frequently accompanying the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather in certain regions.)
The below pictures were taken in the Bati market of Ethiopia in the middle of the drought area. Here highland farmers met the lowland nomadic traders to exchange food for camel dung or other commodities.
The woman in back is cornrowing the hair of the woman in front. Look at how finely plaited it is. The two sides of her hair contain the same amount of hair!
I believe this village was Dessi. We drove for two days through the drought area on local bus to get here. I’ve talked about that tripHERE.
In the village we were going to, women walked for 3 hours with these heavy clay jars on their backs to get water. This was the water we drank and cooked and bathed with. Needless to say, we were very sparing of water usage. When I later went back and lived in that village for a month, for my once-weekly bath, I used a small pitcher of water, poured in a meager stream over my head as I stood in a small basin. A bit of water, shampoo and soap, and then the rest of the water to rinse off. I’m sure my drainage water was then used for something. Probably to settle the dust on the dirt floor or to clean with. Hopefully, not for that night’s soup.