EP. 3, “REMEMBERING”: LOVING OUR CHANGING LAND
Season 2, Episode 3: “Remembering" – storyteller Mukta Dharmapurikar visits her grandparents’ sugarcane farm in western India to report on the young farmers affected by drought. Then, storyteller Kenia Hale recounts a climate-fueled windstorm decimating her family’s yard in Cleveland, Ohio.
In this episode of Inherited, storyteller Mukta Dharmapurikar visits her grandparents’ sugarcane farm in western India to report on the young farmers affected by drought. Then, storyteller Kenia Hale recounts a climate-fueled windstorm decimating her family’s yard in Cleveland, Ohio.
About the Storytellers: Kenia Hale (she/her) is a writer, artist, and researcher from the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. A grandchild of the great migration, Kenia graduated from Yale University in 2021, where she majored in Computing and the Arts. Her research interests examine the intersection between technology, environmental justice, and racial justice. A storyteller and collagist, Kenia loves writing and dreaming of new futures where Black folks can be freer than they are here, and has work published in The Hopper, Literary Cleveland, and Black Freighter Press (Fall 2022), among others. Read more about Kenia at keniahale.com.
Mukta Dharmapurikar (she/her) is a freelance journalist and student at Harvard University who enjoys writing about climate change, health science, voter education, and identity. In 2022, her journalism portfolio won the $10,000 Scholastic and New York Times Gold Medal Portfolio Scholarship, and her writing has been recognized by the US Consul General in Hamburg through the Amerikazentrum International Journalism Program. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, reading, and hiking!
Inherited is a production of YR Media and Critical Frequency. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @inheritedpod, and check out our new website at yr.media/inherited.
[Loud rain on a tin roof, fading in]
JULES: I’m standing in the barn door of the farm I work on, listening to the rain pound on the tin roof of the wash station. It’s been a very dry summer here. I can count on one hand how many times I was rained on at work this summer. Now that it’s fall the rain is starting to come again, and come hard. The farm isn’t ready for it – many of the beds are flooded, too dry to absorb the rain all at once.
[Rain fades out, gentle synth beat begins slowly]
JULES: Our first storyteller today tells us a similar story of drought and flood – but at a much more extreme scale and miles and miles away from this farm in Maine.
Mukta Dharmapurikar is a freelance journalist and student at Harvard University who enjoys writing about climate change, health science, voter education, and identity. She spent this summer visiting her grandparents in Maharashtra, India.
This is When the Water Rises.
[Beat fades away into gentle harp sounds
Sounds of walking in a field, many folks speaking in Marathi
Harps fade away]
MUKTA: That was my mom. We’re currently standing in front of what used to be a storage shed on my grandfather’s farm. Except now, it’s crumbled to pieces.
[Gentle synth beat begins again]
Needless to say, a lot has changed since I last visited my grandparents in Maharashtra, India in 2019. 2 floods and countless droughts later, everything looks different from what I remember. Buildings that once stood multiple stories tall have been reduced to piles of rubble. Washed up trash lines the waterways and wells, each piece leaving a thick trail of sludge as it slowly passes through on its way to its next destination. But there’s also a new tension in the air, which I can see in the worry lines streaking across the workers’ faces, the cautious flitter of my grandfather’s eyes as we near the river, and worst of all, the perfectly good okra sprawled across the grass, discarded by a discouraged farmer coming back from the market.
[Synth beat fades away]
MUKTA: (field recording) We’re walking along the edge of the land. It’s pretty peaceful right now. But there’s definitely a lot of things that surprised me…a lot more trash than I remember
[Synth beat starts again]
That trash was swept in by huge floods a few years ago, bringing with it chemicals that are now leaching into the water. What was once a beautiful stream has turned into a toxic wasteland. As these young farmers told me, that’s not so good for the people or for the crops. They’re speaking Marathi, so I’ll translate.
TRANSLATION: The water that comes from the river has some chemicals mixed in from commercial activities. If those chemicals go on the crops, they’ll die. So we have to restart the procedure all over again, and the money that was originally put in goes to waste.
MUKTA: These farmers are over 50 years younger than my grandfather, who has been farming since he was a child. And surprisingly, much of his lifestyle has largely remained the same.
[Gentle score with shaking sound and ethereal tones]
MUKTA: My grandparents have lived in the same house, right at the end of the long alley, with the open roof and the splotchy tiled floors and the squeaky outhouses, since my mom was thirteen years old. They hadn’t changed a thing in over 30 years. But when I came back this year, many things were different. The doors on the outhouses had been replaced because of water damage. Shelves and shelves full of papers and books were completely gone. Everything changed when the floods hit.
But what exactly happened here? Here’s what a farmer living near my grandfather told me.
TRANSLATION: There was one flood in 2019 and one in 2021. The crops were drowned and animals were drowned
[Gentle rain sounds, increasing over time]
MUKTA: The problem isn’t necessarily the rain itself, it’s the way the rain arrives. The monsoon is changing. When I was much younger, I remember feeling giddy when the rains came pouring down for a few days each week, delivering a reprieve from the heat and the mosquitos and a perfect opportunity to get a scolding from my mom after running outside to play in the rain and getting completely drenched. But recently, the rain has started to look different. I talked to a farmer living in a nearby city.
TRANSLATION: Before, our monsoon was perfect. It would start in June, and there would be scattered rainfall through June, July, August, and September. It would fall bit by bit, Now, it doesn’t happen like that. Now, a ton of rain falls within only one week. It’s not scattered throughout.
MUKTA: The monsoon has become less regular and more heavy. Studies have found that “For every degree Celsius of warming, [Indian] monsoon rainfalls will likely increase by about 5%.” And this problem isn’t just affecting India. Here’s a clip from ABC15 Arizona in 2021.
Audio clip from ABC15: “WIND, RAIN, LIGHTNING, AND DUST -- THAT'S WHAT OUR MONSOON IS Known FOR. BUT AS OUR CLIMATE CHANGES, AND OUR ATMOSPHERE GETS HOTTER, IT'S ABLE TO HOLD MORE WATER VAPOR AND DR. CHRISTOPHER CASTER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA SAYS THAT'S CHANGING HOW OUR MONSOON BEHAVES. “WE DON'T GET AS MANY STORMS, BUT WHEN THEY DO COME, THEY'RE TENDING TO PRODUCE HIGHER RAINFALL AMOUNTS AND MORE INTENSE RAINFALL.”
MUKTA: That’s exactly what the farmer I talked to said is happening in India: rain happens less often but more intensely. And that’s causing the flooding that’s affecting many farmers throughout the region. People are scared. And I mean, you can’t blame them. It’s hard not to be scared when you hear about everything that’s happening.
TRANSLATION: The crops died, the chickens were gone…25 or so chickens were stolen, some died in the flood. All of our harvest was gone. Peanuts, soybeans All of it just washed away.
MUKTA: This is my grandfather, who I call Ajoba, speaking next.
TRANSLATION: The farm was destroyed badly and our house was destroyed badly too. There was four or five feet of water in our house. On the farm, sugarcane fell, sheng was destroyed by the sitting water, since water was there for four or five days.
TRANSLATION: The crop pattern has changed now there’s a lot more soy now, and rain comes during the harvesting period, so it all becomes a loss.The rain comes when you harvest the onions It’s not fixed like it was before. So because of that people are saying no to farming and thinking that agriculture isn’t a profitable business.
MUKTA: Sometimes, there’s too much rain. But then, when the skies finally clear and the crops soak up the remaining water and relief settles over the town, the farmers quickly find themselves in another crisis. Before, the water was too much. Now, there’s just not enough.
MUKTA: (field recording, with water pouring sounds) So right now I’m just getting some water to wash my hands, and um, it’s actually in a bunch of pails, I’m not getting it from the tap…I’m getting it from a bucket outside, because we had to fill up a bunch of pails of water today bc my grandparents realized that there was not going to be water today, so we just had to fill a bunch of them up as quickly as we can so that we would be prepared when the water went out. I think this is because of the drought in the area but this is something that is not new…I do remember this from when I was younger- like maybe four or five years ago - that there just isn’t water coming out of the taps regularly, but it’s actually gotten a little better now. Like I remember a few years back when my grandparents were only getting water once a week from the taps and so they really have to adjust and figure out the best way to store water. [noise] sorry that’s my grandmother’s rice cooker in the background.
[Gentle tinny rhythm]
MUKTA: These changes are bad enough for farmers like my grandfather. But they’re even worse for their children and grandchildren, the young people who will be inheriting these farms at a time when conditions have become more volatile than ever. This could have been my mother and me.
MUKTA: (field recording) A van full of school kids just passed us. There were probably at least 20 of them crammed in the back
MUKTA: Sometimes, I wonder what it would have been like if I had inherited my grandfather’s farm just like those schoolkids. What would the future have looked like? And what does it look like for kids like these, kids who have grown up their whole lives in farming communities? I talked to my grandfather’s neighbors, both children of farmers, barely in their 20s. They’ve seen the same problems happening on their farms.
TRANSLATION: Right now, we’ve planted sugarcane. But because of the current environment, our harvest is struggling. as a result, the sugarcane gets damaged.
MUKTA: For young people, this is more than just a physical or economic toll. It’s a mental one. It’s the stress I feel when I see my parents and grandparents huddled in a room poring over monsoon reports, trying to predict what will happen next. When I see the water levels in the well rising higher and higher with every passing day. When my grandfather hands me a one-hundred-rupee note as a parting gift and my mother hastily presses it back into his hands. But this is nothing compared to what the young people who are actually growing up on these farms are facing.
[Somber, gentle melody begins]
The constantly looming worry, the ever-present stress that makes the future something to brace yourself for rather than something to look forward to. The forced acceptance that nothing is truly in your hands anymore. And the inability to do anything about it.
TRANSLATION: There’s a lot of people who have it worse than me, and that makes me feel really bad.
TRANSLATION: Our kids’ livelihood depends on the farm. Farming is going to be their main occupation. We need the farm to feed our families, it’s not like we have service or regular pay for our kids. So we can only eat if things go well on the farm that year. So because of that, they’re worried…when will the flood come, how will our harvest be. Those are always worries. In June, it hasn’t rained for 8 days. We’re sitting here worrying, when is the rain going to fall, how is our harvest going to be. It’s stressful.
MUKTA: As a result, many young people are forced to do what their parents didn’t have to: searching for creative new ways to adapt and supplement their income. To find money in new nooks and crannies that they can…save for a rainy day. Literally.
TRANSLATION: We want to do farming part time. They are raising cows and other livestock in addition to farming. Because of the flooding, there’s a lot of damage for at least 8 to ten days at a time. So during that time, he can make money off of the milk that the cows provide.So he can take care of the animals while also planting at the same time. So it’s like a side business.
(Gentle synth beat begins again)
MUKTA: Others believe the industry is a thing of the past, dying along with the crops that are swallowed in the floods. They just don’t see the hope anymore. Or in some cases, maybe that side hustle becomes more lucrative than agriculture and turns into a main hustle instead. Either way, many young people are choosing to leave the industry.
TRANSLATION: Because of this situation, what are the kids going to do? Why would they keep farming? If this happens every year, then how is it going to be viable? How will they provide for their kids?
TRANSLATION: Nobody wants to do agriculture.
MUKTA: And a few are leaving the town altogether.
TRANSLATION: Agriculture doesn’t seem like a profitable business. Because of that, the next generation is just saying no.
MUKTA: One of those kids was my own mom.I asked my grandfather how that made him feel.
TRANSLATION: And do you feel bad or good that your kids didn’t go into farming, that they’re doing something else instead?
TRANSLATION: Of course I feel bad! But they’re leaving because they get more doing something else. But yes, I do feel really bad.
MUKTA: Later, I asked my mom why ajoba has continued to farm for all these years, despite his old age. She told me that it’s always been his passion. It’s what he dedicated his life to.
[Soft piano melody with back beat]
MUKTA: Now I know old folks are always grumbling about how the young people are leaving them behind. Escaping the comfort of the culture they were raised in for the enticing glamor of the big city. But this exodus of young people doesn’t just weigh down on folks like my grandfather. It harms the entire community. Not only are they losing the backbone of their future economy, but also the caretakers, the teachers, the counselors, those who are going to both support the elders like my grandfather and raise the next generation.
TRANSLATION: The kids leave and go to other towns, so those towns get development. The development of our town has stalled. If you go a little further from here, there’s been a lot of growth. But our kids haven’t been educated.
MUKTA: These kids have grown up immersed in farming communities. This lifestyle, this profession, has been in their family for generations. And now, for some of them, there’s nothing left. And even though times are tough on the farm, there’s still a lot they’re missing out on. I asked some of the young people what the value is of growing up as a farmer's kid. But to my surprise, my mom jumped in instead.
TRANSLATION: I’ll tell you another answer to your question that I have seen firsthand. Which is that farmers have such big hearts.
TRANSLATION: Farmers work so hard to raise each crop, but they offer to you right away without knowing you. So that comes into the kids’ mindset as well. That comes into the upbringing of the family. If you go to any farmers house, they’ll give you lunch, they'll bring you water. Their outlook is very generous.
[Soft harp music begins]
TRANSLATION: Farmers don’t value the money. They value the people.
MUKTA: But this sense of community they described, of inviting others into your home, of valuing the people over the profit, it’s starting to suffer too. You even feel the effects of climate change weighing down on the community’s culture.
[Gentle rain sounds]
MUKTA: (field recording) As I’m walking along this alley I can really see the impact of this flooding first hand I mean there's so much rumble and like remnants of houses um it's kinda crazy just to look at even though the flood was a few years ago just how lasting the impact has been. And I’m also kinda surprised about the things I’ve heard about the social impact of the flood. I don’t know, the vibe is sort of different this time. The way I’ve always remembered coming to my grandparents house in India is that it’s a very welcoming community, in the sense that people are always out and about and hanging out with each other outside of their houses, pretty much anyone can just walk into your house and start up a conversation or impromptu meeting and people are just enjoying each other’s company well into the night. But one of the neighbors was telling me that after this flood it kind of has tamped down a bit…like people don’t go and socialize as much. I think there’s just kind of a worry weighing down.
[Gentle score with shaking sound and ethereal tones]
MUKTA: When I first started reporting this story, I expected to hear all about how climate change was harming the land and reducing profits. Which it is. But I never anticipated the extent to which it could completely unwind the social fabric of a community. My grandfather’s community has been farming for generations and generations, developing a deep connection with the land. But now that the land is changing, this ancient culture is changing too. its customs are changing, its young people are changing...their future is changing. And if there’s one thing that I came back with, above all, it’s that climate change isn’t just about economies or plants or profits or farms.
[Soft piano melody with back beat]
MUKTA: It’s about people.
[Soft piano melody with back beat continues for a bit, then fades out]
JULES: That was When the Water Rises by Mukta Dharmapurikar.
JULES: Our next storyteller will transport us across the world to a backyard in Ohio that has undergone changes of its own.
Kenia Hale is a writer, artist, and researcher from the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. A storyteller and collagist, Kenia loves writing and dreaming of new futures where Black folks can be freer than they are here. She is also the bassist of the band Speakeasy.
This is Holding and Being Held.
[Soft cricket sounds and insect buzzing, some background road sounds]
KENIA: I want everyone to lay down. Look up. Don't look into the sun, now. All right. From youngest to oldest (giggle) I want each of us to describe a favorite memory of being in this backyard
KIERA: Not too long after we moved in, I remember we would go on treks through the woods. Kelton would find a big stick and bring it back. And it was just fun, you know? It felt like we were on a little adventure exploring through our new home. I don't go out into the woods as much anymore, but I have very fond memories. I think it was a good thing to experience being outside and being, like, completely surrounded by nature. I just feel like it's good for all aspects of our health.
KELTON: I think one of my fondest memories in the yard or this house outdoors would be the time we found this apple. On the apple tree. There's an apple tree kind of like right square in the middle of the back yard. We didn't know it was an apple tree until one day I was walking outside. I thought I saw an apple or like big fruit on the ground. Some of them were moldy and old, but like they were like it was just one apple that was still on the branch, untouched, it seemed. So we took it, we washed it, we ate. It is very good. Like it was like a legit store apple.
KIERA: It was tasty. Yeah.
KELTON: It was good. Apple slices. I had like three.
[Soft guitar plucking, cricket and insects sounds]
KENIA: (narration) Once, when I was a little girl, my mom brought me to the house of a family friend. The house had the biggest backyard I had ever seen. The expanse began with a huge hill that led down into a valley full of grass and trees and forests and green. That day, I rode my bike around the driveway alone, skirting along the edge of the hill. There was something in me drawn to the danger of it, like reaching the highest top of a rollercoaster and looking over the edge, anticipating the fall. But eventually my hubris betrayed me. I lost control of the bike and began speeding down the hill, the wind coursing through my braids, my barrettes scratching against my face. I landed in a valley at the bottom, the wind knocked out of my lungs. Looking up after the fall, I saw the expanse of blue, the tops of trees almost leaning in checking to see if I was OK.
When I landed, caught by the soft earth, I don't remember being hurt. I was more shocked by the fall, the possibility of hurt scarier than the reality of it. I looked up, seeing the sky, the trees. All the while the grass held my little body. I looked around me, and saw a little creek. I felt like I was somewhere where no one would find me, that, if left long enough, I would become part of the earth.
[Electronic beats rise, and then fade away]
Once I got over the initial shock I started crying and yelling, and my mom ran down the hill to grab me. She picked me up and took me inside. As she carried me in, the nature slowly retreated behind me.
[Insect sounds fade away]
The specter of that trip down the hill remained with me. Years later, we ended up buying that very house from those family friends. When we pulled into the driveway of our new home for the first time, I felt mutual recognition when i saw that hill, reunited with this land that had both held me and scared me as a child. We moved here around the time I was going off to college so every time I returned for break the land and I would reintroduce ourselves to each other again. when I'm on this land I feel held. When I hold this land I feel it holding me in turn. I feel this land in returning me to myself.
KENIA: bell hooks once said “When we love the earth, we are able to love ourselves more fully. I believe this. The ancestors taught me it was so.” I feel the same - it was my ancestors, elders, and family members who taught me how to care for the land. It was my great grandparents, sharecroppers in the south who brought my grandparents to Cleveland, Ohio for a better life. bell hooks continues, quote: “As a child I loved playing in dirt, in that rich Kentucky soil, that was a source of life. Before I understood anything about the pain and exploitation of the southern system of sharecropping, I understood that grown up black folks loved the land.” Unquote.
As I grew up, the elders in my family have taught me to love the land too.
My aunt told me a story about my grandma. To help me get over my fear of grass on my tiny toes as a kid, she had plopped me in the middle of a field, calling to me until I worked up the courage to stop crying and waddle over to her. In these ways, I learned to love the land, and so did my family.
KIERA: Hi, my name’s Kiera.
KELTON: I’m Kelton.
SEMIA: I’m SeMia.
KENIA: (field recording) What does it feel like to be in our backyard? Whoever has the answer first can jump in. Like How does it feel right now?
SEMIA: For me, it feels like home. It took a while before we found this property. And to be able to have these couple of acres and just to have the green space and the trees. Be here. So. Alongside the birds and, uh. And all the different animals. Um. It feels like home is like home for me. Hmm.
KENIA: (narration) Learning to love this land, I’ve realized, means sitting with it. Candiss Callison, a Tahltan First nations Climate Researcher, writes that, “how one talks about the environment is based on how one comes to know it … climate change requires individuals to have grounded knowledge about the natural world.” Thus, to recognize a changing environment, one must sit with it a while, for years, to learn to know and love that land. That reminds me of a quote from
Black Speculative Fiction writer Octavia Butler once said, “All that you touch, you change. All that you change, changes you.” To that, I would add - All that you love, you change, all that you love, changes you too.
[Natural background sounds, wind and bird chirping]
KENIA: So my next question is, what are some changes that you've noticed?
KELTON: This honeysuckle bush that's been growing throughout the yard, um, for the past few years. It's kind of invasive, and it's kind of becoming a bigger deal now that it's grown more than the trees are.
SEMIA: I'm also thinking about at the beginning of the pandemic, the COVID 19 pandemic, that year, 2020, we saw more trees come down then the whole time that we've been here in that one six month period. And I can't help but wonder, you know, such a tragedy to hit our world, did it somehow have an impact on the trees, the grief, the pain did it somehow have a have an impact? So that's the change. I saw so many trees going down in a short period of time.
KENIA: (narration) Before we lived there, my back yard used to be a christmas tree farm, so it’s covered in these straight rows of perfectly spaced trees. These trees have defined my home in Ohio. I've always admired how, despite their initial human directed planting, the trees have in the years since reclaimed their wildness, and are now homes to a host of animals and creatures. My bedroom faces the trees, and I've found comfort in their shade, the crickets and animals they attract singing me to sleep amongst the humid Lake Erie air.
[Subtle nature sounds and gentle score]
Though Ohio has always been known for our windy weather and thunderstorms, the climate has been getting more unpredictable in recent years. In 2020, my mom and I were alone at home when a sudden freak wind storm known as a wind snap tore through our area.
[Soft wind sounds]
KENIA: (field recording) We, you know, we were getting the alerts on our phones with stars coming through and like the trash cans start blowing away and I run out to grab and mom is like, no, don't go ahead.
SEMIA: Yeah, don't go out there because the wind is so strong. I mean, if it could blow that great big trash can, it could blow you.
KENIA: (narration) While my mom and I ran for cover, we kept hearing loud cracking sounds, like gunshots.
(Tree cracking sounds, dark rhythmic synth beat)
The wind left as fast as it came. But when I returned to my room, I saw that one of our perfectly spaced trees had fallen towards the house, the top of it just kissing my bedroom window as if in apology. I was stunned. If that tree had fallen any closer, and I'd been in my bedroom, I could have been seriously injured.
(Synth fades away)
KENIA: Studies have shown that storms have been getting more intense across the midwest because of climate change. The storm you hear is a recording from my most recent visit home.
[Heavy rain sounds, scattered thunder]
It knocked the lights out in the house, and my mom, partner, and I sat on the porch in awe, watching the lightning flash against the silhouette of the trees in the horizon. All the while, the cover of the trees protected us.
[Slow piano melody]
Throughout 2020, We had other close calls, like when, in the winter, my brother and I pulled out of the drive way just before another tree, heavy with the weight of snow, toppled to the exact spot my car was mere seconds before. My sister and mom both remember this clearly.
KIERA: I had come home and, um, there was like a ton of snow that night, so me and mom were trying to clear it out.
SEMIA: And this whole time this particular tree was just holding all of the weight from the snow that was coming down. And as we were shoveling, I remember hearing just this little faint crack. And I remember looking at Kiara because she was on one side of the tree and I was on the other side of the tree. And I remember looking at her and thinking, oh, my goodness, this tree is getting ready to fall. And then it was it was another crack. It was like a small crack, and it was a little bit bigger crack. And then I remember saying, Kiera are the trees coming down. Get out of the way. And she ran one way and I ran the other way.
KIERA: And I remember I was like really scared when it happened because it was like it almost it fell close to mom. And that shook me a little.
SEMIA: Very, very, very grateful that neither one of us were caught underneath that tree. Because that was a time where the emergency response people were pretty busy, between COVID 19, all the snow accidents. And so I was grateful that even though we didn't have power at that moment, we had each other. And that I was very grateful for.
KENIA: (narration) Despite living away from home now, my yard is one of my favorite places on earth. In 2020, The losses we faced on a global level felt embodied by the trees literally uprooting around us. So much loss that I felt like I didn't have time to mourn. When I came home to reports of another Black life stolen by police brutality, more people killed by Covid, the land provided a space to breathe and cry and return to myself amongst the trees and hummingbirds. The trees and the soil caught my falling tears, just as they’d caught my fall years ago.
[Score fades away into a gentle synth sound with insects, and rising high synths]
So when the trees began to fall, I decided to do something about it. After all the storms, I invited my mom to walk with me around our yard. As we surveyed the damage, we lit incense, thanking the trees for their lives. We were a two woman funeral procession, thanking them for helping us breathe in a world that is stealing our air, thanking them for, according to my mom’s belief, giving their lives to protect ours. While we walked, the wind kissed our cheeks, and when the wind blew the incense out, my mom and I cupped our hands around the lighter, protecting it until we could light it again. We even saved a little cutting of the tree trunk, to keep with us.
In the years since, new sprouts have popped up where the trees once stood. While the trees learned to reclaim their wildness over years, the newest additions to our yard are growing with wild abandon. In the absence of those trees, new life anad futures have taken hold.
In many ways, my fight for the protection of land and water is a thank you letter to the land that held me. Even this story itself is a love song to the land. This land and I have a relationship of reciprocity, one that teaches me to better care for myself and the communities around me. I hope that my care can better return the trees, the earth, to itself as well. Asé.
The following is a song, composed, performed, and produced by my younger siblings, in honor of the trees, and the land we call home.
[Gentle guitar strumming, with synth melody and vocal choral tones]
SEMIA: And let us not forget the opossum, the night of the opossum!
[Laughter and mmmhmmms, slowly fading out.]
JULES: That was “Holding and Being Held” by Kenia Hale
[Synthy score begins]
JULES: Inherited is brought to you by Y-R Media, a national network of young journalists and artists creating content for this generation. We’re distributed by Critical Frequency, a women-run podcast network founded by journalists.
When the Water Rises was reported, written, and translated by Mukta Dharmapurikar and sound designed by Jules Bradley.
Holding and Being Held was written by Kenia Hale and sound designed by Georgia Wright. It featured the song “Garden of Trees,” written, produced, and performed by Kenia’s siblings – Kelton and Kiera Hale. Special thanks to Special thanks to their mom Semia Bray, and friend Camara Aaron.
Our co-creators and senior producers are Jules Bradley and Georgia Wright. Our Executive Producer is Amy Westervelt, and our sound engineer is James Riley. Our Director of Podcasting is Ray Archie, and our interns are Ichtaca Lira and Chaitanya Dendekar. Special thanks to Rebecca Martin and Kyra Kyles.
Original music for this episode created by these young musicians at YR: Christian Romo, Anders Knutstad, Noah Holt, Jacob Armenta, Chaz Whitley, Michael Diaz, Sean Luciano Galarza.
Music direction by Oliver “Kuya” Rodriguez and Maya Drexler.
Art for this episode created by YR’s Ariam Michael. Art direction by Brigido Bautista and Marjerrie Masicat.
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If you want to learn more about our show and this season’s cohort of storytellers, head to our website at yr.media/inherited.
Thank you for listening.