We are Hacha hatak, the river people, now living in the first Eden of the Cherokee, in the shade of hardwoods, at the feet of the mountains, where the rains come.

But we are inside metro Atlanta, near the city of Decatur, and my son cannot wander the countryside like I did as a boy in Mississippi.

I want my son to see just a little of what I saw and learned and took for granted as a boy.

And so I planted our front yard with Native American varieties of beans, corn, and squash, and heirloom varieties of tomatoes and peppers and sweet potatoes and Chinese brown cotton. We also planted native flowers and milkweed and pollinator hosts.

In the backyard, we dug a Yalobusha, a tadpole place. We dug it after school together between dirt-clod throwing contests. We dug swamp plants from marshy right of ways and ditches that are bush-hogged from time to time.