Dear Mitochondrial Eve,
People are battling over your existence and non-existence. Some say that the idea of you is mesmerizing. An idea of a founding mother. Am I really carrying your mitochondrial DNA? Do I have a whole history of evolution plastered on every cells of my body like you once did? Am I that important?
I still cannot grasp the concept of you. But I cannot help but imagine what you felt like when population went through the bottle neck effect. Of course, it wasn’t just a population for you; it was your family. Because I cannot grasp the concept of you, I don’t even know if you were real. I would like to believe you were. The belief somehow feels like a security blanket. It makes me feel less chaotic and more real. I wonder about your village and your people. I wonder about your daughters who crossed Oceans. I wonder about your sons who perished. I could make up a whole unscientific story about you. I wonder if you loved making up stories too.
I wonder if you had a name. Would I be able to pronounce it? I guess, we would not even understand each other’s languages. It’s weird how small this world is. And yet, the people are so distant and different from each other. It is difficult to comprehend how dauntingly similar we are in the same way it is difficult to understand our magnificent uniqueness. Had you ever imagined the world would come this far? Or did you always know? Do you still exist in the fragment of our souls? Or did you not exist at all?
I am sure you were dwelling on similar questions. Maybe not. You had your own hunger games to win, children to feed and roads to travel. I am sure you must have loved passionately. Because that’s what we crave the most today. I wish we could see how obvious it is. The love. It’s right there, engraved in our DNA. Love is our heirloom. If we could realize that, the world would be a happier place.
As the science continues to debate over you, I will continue to write to you for reasons I don’t understand…..
Artwork by : Ashley Bickerton