Updated: Mar 5, 2019

By Rotimi Olaniyan

"I could feel the dry wind as it squeezed moisture from my skin. The Asa were fast approaching. Ma'mi had always told me that the birds were sent by their keeper, Oya, the goddess of the tumultuous dry winds, and the harbinger of the dry season. She sent them to warn us of the coming illnesses that descended with the departure of the rains. So we could prepare ourselves. Yet, in my father's household, we all prayed for the coming of the season because it beckoned the start of the burning of old things.

Ba’mi, always said that a good farmer had to nourish the land back with the burnt offering of the last season's foliage. That way Olodumare, our creator and the king of all the heavens and the earth would be pleased and instruct Orisha Oko, the god of the diligent farmer to allow the rains to fall in the new season. When the rains came, the tender crops would be suckled to maturity and a season of dryness would give way to a season of plenty. It was the way the world was created, and the order that the pantheon of our orishas gave to the way we lived."

Excerpts from 'Where the Waters Recede' by Rotimi Olaniyan.

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