Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I is for Indigenous

We hear "Indigenous" and typically think of peoples and creatures specific to an area.

In my world, I think of what's indigenous to our little country life.

Now, I do take pleasure in the things that are indigenous to this high country desert of northern Arizona, beyond farm life. Like this precious guy.

I got to spend an entire summer with little Kyan while he and about 30 other young Native American kids danced traditional Pow Wow dances on a dirt stage every night outside the historic courthouse in our little city. The regalia Mr. Kyan is sporting here is not indigenous to this region, but it's indigenous to the Pow Wow traditions that he, his parents, and friends participate in around the Southwest.

I've decided to take creative license with this alphabet challenge, and I'm extending the exploration of indigenous things to experiences and traditions, not just people and critters -- although both figure largely in our country farm life, as it happens.

So, what's unique or indigenous to this life?


Poop in the hen house; poop on the front porch when I let the chickens and ducks roam freely, which I do a lot; and nice, aged poop that we scatter on the garden to bring out the shiny in the tomatoes, the purple in the eggplants, and abundance in the zucchini patch. (OK, I think zucchini would be abundant even if we grew it in sand and styrofoam -- still, poop is definitely indigenous to this life.)

Now, in the strictest sense, poop isn't indigenous in the sense that the country is the only place you'll find it; but I think it's fair to say you don't find it in such quantity, across such wide expanses, or value it so highly in other places quite as much as you do on a country farm.

Beyond poop, the bright night skies, low nickering of horses and contented murmuring of sleepy ducks and chickens are also indigenous to this farm life I love. Tonight, I wandered the farm by the light of the night sky, shunning a flashlight and letting my eyes adjust to the low light until I could see every feature of the land, the outline of hens on their roost, and the handle on the pump as I lifted it to fill the duck's pool.

Now, the low light meant I was feeling around in the dark of the pot bellied stove where the chickens lay their eggs, which brought me right back around to the indigenous poo again. But, that's OK.

Because I like everything that's prevalent in this life, even if it's not all technically unique just to country living.

The blooming fruit trees, the smell of the garden soil, the joyful anticipation of those first sprigs of asparagus signalling the start of the spring harvest.

The quiet, the squawking, the dirt under the nails, the eggshells in the compost, the flock that comes tromping up behind you once they figure out you're the one with the goods.

The rain forcing you from the garden, the plinking of lids sealing on hot jars full of the harvest.

The list of experiences and cycles and promises indigenous to this life is lengthy.

And I sink down into the reviewing of it and wrap myself up in the gratitude for it.

Much love from the farm,

(P.S. Thanks for all the sweet comments on my "A" post -- the shoulder is on the mend so I get to play here again. I'll fill in my "B" through "H" posts in coming days. Cheers to the A-Z Challenge!)

1 comment:

  1. Here in Ecuador the Indigenous are very apparent due to their dress. We're enjoying discovering them all!

    Donna B. McNicol
    A to Z Participant