This is a view I see almost every day. It is my garden as seen from the andador.
But today I saw it a bit differently. I have just finished reading Charles Mann’s 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created. His 1491 dealt with the culture of the Americas before Columbus arrived.
1493 details what has come to be known as the Columbian Exchange -- how American products (such as, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn) spread throughout the world and how Old World products ended up in the New.
Mann is one of those journalists who is easily beguiled by eccentric scholarly theories. The kind of guy who has never met an iconoclast he does not like. But he presents a good argument why the term “indigenous” is an almost meaningless term. All people (and lots of plants) came to the Americas from somewhere else. And we now live in a world that has been somewhat homogenized over the past 500 years.
My garden is a perfect example. Almost nothing in the photograph at the top of this post is native to Mexico. Coconut palms? From The Philippines. The Flamboyant tree? Madagascar. The banana? South Asia. Limes? Persia. Tamarind? Sudan. Even most of the grasses are from other continents.
Just as all the people in Mexico came from somewhere else, my garden is populated with trees and plants that were not to be found in the Americas in 1492. Globalization is nothing new.
And I am happy with that end result. After all, even though I am a native American, I too am an import. Enjoying my retirement in a garden filled with other sojourners.