I SOMETIMES find arrowheads and pottery shards when plowing our garden spot next to the creek. I keep those pieces of evidence in a bowl in my kitchen and look at them when I’m thinking, or talking about, questions of status. At what point do you really become part of a place? When are you no longer “ain’t from around here?" When do you become a local? Does it take a certain amount of time? Does it take turning the soil, burying animals and family in it, stewarding it for the time you are on it?
I DON’T KNOW the answers. But I do know people have been migrating in and out of this region forever, some staying longer than others, most everyone leaving a footprint on the landscape. Now, in a time of great change, I wonder how we judge one footprint to be more native or true than another? Aren’t we all local?