It's spring in Denmark WA and my garden is a mix of natives and weeds, full of green and gold with a hint of bluebell and native Hardenbergia comptoniana.
We are emerging from winter into spring in the Southern Hemphishere and the concept of emergence and endemic have swirled through my conversations today.
What makes us indigenous or endemic to a place? What makes us local?
If I were a plant, would I be classified as a weed, due to my migrant status from England?
Does there come a point when we embrace the introduced, the feral weeds amongst us, within us and accept them as part of the diversity of our lives, environment, culture and community?
Gertrude WellEase maintains that a weed is simply a plant out of place. So can I be connected to Australia in my own weedy way through my indigenous celtic origins?
This is a slippery slide. With one small word out of context or place, I'm lost in a world of language, culture, ownership and politics that leaves me terrified of expressing my confusion for fear of saying the wrong thing.
However, this spring, I can feel myself emerging from the duality of the labels and roles I have created (performer, community development professional, pommy migrant, mother, and Australian citizen) into one merged version of all these experiences along with the courage to say what I experience.
So today, I bring some space, compass-ion and willingness to embrace, express and work with my emerging indigenousness (is that a word) for the growth of myself, my community, my country which is Denmark Western Australia.
It will take courage, time and a willingness to listen to all the voices that inform who and what I have been and will be, have contributed and will contribute.
So watch this space. My celtic australian persona is emerging this spring and I'm amazed at who she is.
Thanks to the Nannup Music Festival for supporting my journey and the journey of many emerging indigenous and endemic artists of Australia.
Why not send me a comment on what makes you a local?
Liz Jack / Gertrude WellEase / Demelza