It’s amazing how certain foods and drinks can remind us of our history. There’ve been times that I’ve travelled back to being a kid the age of seven, who had just drank some of the best sorrel ever prepared at his grandmother’s house (although I would be remiss to not add that my father’s brew is superb in its own right)…

 

As I now think of those journeys induced by traditional Guyanese greatness, I realize that sorrel and other drinks/foods may be categorized as consumable artifacts. Absorbing them not only takes me back to my youth, but also back further through my mother’s, father’s, and grandmother’s memories. If I continue through my memory trip, I can connect with the ancestors on through the first brewing of the ruby colored artifact. In a sense, it is a medicine that helps us to remember who we are, and where we came from… where we came from…

 

Where we came from. It echoes… 

 

It must, because the journey is that long. Wars between the Arawaks and Caribs. Asians. Dutch trade settlements which positioned the Netherlands to colonize the region. The Dutch West India Company. Diseases from Europe. Spanish positioning. Enslaved Africans and multiple rebellions. The Hibiscus Sabdariffa.

 

African revolution and capture of many plantations leading to half of the Europeans fleeing. The British and French joining forces with the Dutch… Transfer to British colonialism. From Longchamps, to Stabroeck, to Georgetown. Wars, treaties, and eventual independence…

 

Shit. My parents were born before Guyana achieved that independence, and it’s all still fresh. They met in England, and created my three brothers before I arrived. We all left for the borough of Queens in NYC just three months before my fourth birthday. 

 

So when I drink sorrel now, it takes me through time and across continents. I’m learning how to make it so that I can share the experience. I need a glass now. Dad takes his time to brew the perfect blend, so I’ll have to wait until it’s chilled…

 

But Until Then…

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But Until Then... - EP by Hosannah

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released July 18, 2019

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