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Tracing My Thoughts Through My Mother


Have you ever asked your thoughts where they brought themselves from? I asked mine, and they said they came from somewhere called syllable, a single sound, and alphabet.

Sometimes my thoughts begin with a sound of M. An echo that contains the freshness of mangos my father’s dirty, hard-working hands brought home in a plastic bag. They were inexpensive and only recently cut off their earthly roots. On the only round table at home, I saw them standing tall and shaping the plastic bag as a mini tower. Then I often looked around for the man who brought them, but he would be outside taking a bucket shower beneath the night sky when even God himself could not see him. That good man is my father, and the mangoes were for his sons – I and my brother. His beloved wife must have told him to bring them. If not, then he surely wanted to catch her attention by the mangoes. It has always been four of us, yet well yoked by mangoes.

But then again, my thoughts do take the shape of an O with a hollow sound of an echo. O rules out all other sounds. The tricks and skits my older brother did on the bicycle and the way I and my cousin looked up to him with our jaw absolutely dropped. And our dry lips making the shape of the perfect O. That O kindles my heart these days. It takes me to the owl that guarded our mud house at night with its cacophonous rhymes – almost like the hymns of a Sunday where we all went to “O O O” before the altar with engravings from a long, long time ago. The O shaped pebbles of faith  I saw rolling down praying cheeks, and how my childish mind would wonder what it was that kept the believer silent when their tears gushed down like that. O … thoughts from O.

And at times, all thoughts kick off with the sound of T. That T in the soul of the people who nurtured me with gratitude. Thank you as abundant as the clear, fresh wind that blows through our houses only saloon window. How I bowed down before I took a piece of bread from her hand or school certificate from my teacher or a penny from a taxi conductor. The art of gratitude knells inside me, giving me thoughts from the echoes of T.

Some nights are filled with thoughts that come from H and have the depth of sentiment it contains. The sound of H takes me those to whom we owe respect. The heroines whose energy run a whole village. I saw them bearing the weight of everyone’s heart in their pocket.

Thoughts also come in a package of the sound of E. The multitude of emotions that brought me to today. How I felt loved in the premises of her vision. How I was obviously busking in my youthful happiness that was soon to evaporate like the first drop of water that touched her cooking pot. These thoughts are of a mysterious kind. The more I heed to them, they say she says I must remember eternity. There is that life I do not know much, but she reassures me.

All these thoughts would be incomplete without those that come from the sound of R. A simple algorithm for human existence. Rest, they say. Be anchored the way those heroines of the village tightened their fabric belts around their overworked waist. Rest to remember the painters of your soul.

My MOTHER  is the spring of my thoughts. She is not responsible for every detail that causes the echoes of the sounds, but she sensitized my ears to the fundamentals of life. She told me to grow with grace than success and to aspire to be wise than smart. I now live a bachelor’s life away from home. Yet, she found a way to have a say in all my thoughts. Without her, there is not a tracing or connection to be made.

The fate of the world is in the hands of wise mothers. Listen to them. Let your thoughts come from them.  

Image Credits: Writer (Feature), 1, 2

Greetings to you. My full name is Birhanu Tadesse Gessese. I am 22 years old Ethiopian, and have been attending Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio since 2017. Even though it maybe the opinions of others that perhaps more accurately speak the truth of a person, I humbly say the following about myself; I write for Her Campus for the love of my mother. I believe words have the power to unfold inspiring connections between beings. I love and have faith in books. I respect the magic in music. In fact, creativity maybe all we have in the end. I am both spiritual and physical traveler, who likes to intermittently romanticize with the surrounding. Hoping the poetry will scatter itself along the way, I humbly invite you to feel welcomed to read what I have written and also contact me at once if you feel the urge to. Thank you.
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