Indigo FieldsIndigo Fields

Every place has its story!

Legend has it that the mystical healing of this place they call Indigo Fields is in her roots. It had been kept a secret amongst the villagers who had travelled far and wide across the African plains to find Indigo Fields and seek her healing spirit. Indeed it must be true.

Whispers of Indigo Fields follow in the footprints of the girl with foreign tongue, spreading the word to far off distant lands. Evidence of Nethathe, the white lion is etched in her tracks and on still nights, one can hear the lightening bird called Ndadzi, which flies on the wings of thunder, high and higher.

It was said that Ndadzi’s eyes flashed lighting and from its beak the rain was born and when it dropped an egg at a foot of a tree, this tree would be eaten up by fire. The people were rightly terrified, terrified and forlorn. It seemed little could make them change their minds, they were afraid of that which they could not see. It was a shame, though, that most people lived so in fear and to the sacred field they would not, could not go.

Indigo! Indigo! Oh, the fields of indigo!
To the fields of indigo.
At Indigo Fields my heart will repair
And surely my spirit will swell and grow.

An Old Chief had once loved a maiden
who had travelled there and returned
shining with light, and though she had returned there
for she had loved it so, and though he now sat old and tired,
as in his heart for her he waited, he tried to tell the people
their hearts should not be so governed by their fear.

There was one amongst the crowd
who was different from the rest,
this woman’s tongue was foreign to them
and alien was her manner of speech and dress.
The crowd was not pleased that she should have come
and they huddled and turned away,
but she was not to be deterred. Old Father, she said to the Chief,
Old Father, how might I come to this place?
I would go there to learn to listen with my heart
to the quiet things in me. And her smile lit up her face.

The Old Chief looked long at her before he quietly said.
Woman, why is it that you are not afraid of what might lie hidden there?
Have you not heard the stories of white lion that was the spirit
of Nethathe and of Ndadzi the lightning and thunderbird?
Have you not heard these people speak of the spirit voices that sing?

I have heard, Old Father, she said, but in my heart I know
that there is nothing of which to be afraid and I would
hear from you the ways, so that I may myself go.

Indigo! Indigo! Oh, the fields of indigo!
To the fields of indigo.
At Indigo Fields my heart will repair
And surely my spirit will swell and grow.

And so the Old Chief took her into his confidence
and he told her  the secret ways
to get to the field that was hidden deep
in the forest between the trees. He said
that she should listen to the song of the birds
and watch the sky for rain. He told her the paths
to follow and the greeting words. All these things
he knew to teach her as he had kept them
in his heart after the young maid he had loved
so very long ago had told them him.
He said to listen carefully
For the spirit voice that sings.
And listening carefully, she took it all in
and then bade him farewell and promised
to bring him news and flowers
from the sacred field
upon her safe return.

Indigo! Indigo! Oh, the fields of indigo!
Bring me there, bring me there
To the fields of indigo.
At Indigo Fields my heart will repair
And surely my spirit will swell and grow.

As she turned to walk through the forest,
around her the sounds of the people
whispering to one another came. They whispered
of her folly and they whispered of her word
to return with flowers and news
and how they laughed for they were certain
that she would not return.

Indigo! Indigo! Oh, the fields of indigo!
Bring me there, bring me there
To the fields of indigo.
At Indigo Fields my heart will repair
And surely my spirit will swell and grow.

Before many moons had passed,
one day when the people were out
in their fields picking their maize and weeding
between the rows, they heard the sound of singing
coming along the path. Looking up
they saw the young woman who had left
them sometime before. She glowed.
How she shone! Her eyes danced with life
and her skin was like fertile and good earth.
She walked as if springing or dancing,
so light was her step.
Never had anyone seen another
so filled with life and living, with peace
that was so bright in her it was as if the sun would be outshone.

The young woman smiled at the world and at the people
in the fields and flowing all about her was a wondrous flower’s scent.
A single magical scent stood out from the aroma all around
– and the people recognised it as being that of the sacred plant.
That plant that they thought forbidden
for it was, they said, alone for the gods reserved
so powerful was it. They had thought that,
being so wonderful; the perfume from the plant
would perhaps main, or even kill an ordinary man.
And yet, here she was, walking back amongst them,
springing and dancing, her lips and eyes smiling
and the sacred scent her surrounding.

Indigo! Indigo! Oh, the fields of indigo!
To the fields of indigo.
At Indigo Fields my heart will repair
And surely my spirit will swell and grow.

The people followed the dancing girl, surrounded by her peace
and her perfume and altogether their feet moved
till it sounded like the rain on dry earth.
They followed her all the way
to the Old Chief’s hut
where they sat down outside
to wait whilst she went in to greet.

How long they sat there, they did not know,
but it was evening time before the young woman
put her beautiful face out of the door
and they could smell the sacred plant’s sweet scent
around her as she stepped out to join them
holding the Old Chief’s hand.

And the young woman, with peace floating about her
on the wings of lavender, for that was the sacred plant
which had given up its oils to perfume her in the sacred place,
sat down and began to speak.

In this place, she said,
there are many people. Young and old and all so happy.
There, in that sacred field in the middle of the wood
the people meet she said, and all are good.
In this place, where birdsong is pure
and rain so plentiful that the rivers run full all the year long,
the people come together and there would be the sound of song
and such rejoicing. They sing in pure voices that rise
above the other sounds, those of river and grass and wind,
and it’s as if it is one voice that gathers up
all their love and care and floats about the trees.
They sing of cleansed souls and bodies purified,
and when they came together, it is as if the whole world stops
to listen in wonder and to marvel deep in soul
at the quiet beauty of the universe that is present in this place.
Women’s faces shine and men’s bodies gleam
and such sweet smells fill the air that the whole valley
of this place appears shrouded in a miasma of the most delicious scent.
It is here, then, she said, here – to this place that I went.
And here I am. Full safe and sound, to bring you news
glad and clear of the place they call The Fields of Indigo.

Indigo! Indigo! Oh, the fields of indigo!
Bring me there, bring me there
To the fields of indigo.
At Indigo Fields my heart will repair
And surely my spirit will swell and grow.

Why do they call it this a small child called.
Why do they call it The Fields of Indigo?
What gives this place this name?

The young woman smiled and replied:
In this place, Indigo Fields, the lavender bushes do
grow in abundance everywhere around
and the aroma of this permeates
the very air with an indigo hue.

Indigo! Indigo! Oh, the fields of indigo!
Bring me there, bring me there
To the fields of indigo.
At Indigo Fields my heart will repair
And surely my spirit will swell and grow.

What is this indigo of which you speak asked a man
with a neck crooked from travails.
Explain to us what you mean
when you speak of indigo.

Again she smiled and said: Indigo!
This is the colour of the flowers that grow
in plenty on the lavender bush.
A colour deeper than that of cool water
in which the clouds are held.
It is the colour of the sky in the evening
just after the sun slips into the waiting arms of trees
and just before our mother, the moon, climbs from her bed
beneath the horizon and stretches into the night.
Indigo is the colour of the cool, quiet shadows
on the faraway hills resting at the feet of the great mountain god.
It is the colour you see when you feel your soul filled with quiet,
something full and yet not heavy, still and yet alive,
all knowing and yet peaceful. Indigo!
It is the colour of this!
And she reached into her cloak
and brought out a sprig of lavender.
At the tip, curled in between the leaves
of a peculiar purple green,
was a single head of lavender flowers.
In a haze of colour that was not blue and not quite purple yet,
that, too, was somehow green, even though
the greenness could not quite be seen,
swelled each blossom with a fertile promise of the scent
that surrounded her.

She held out the sprig to the Old Chief
and he took it in his gnarled fingers and gently pressed it.
In an instant the very air was consumed by the sweet
and tantalising scent of the flower in his hand.

That is indigo, then, he said, as he breathed deep.
This scent that is neither sweet nor spicy but somehow like the land!
I smelled it once on the body of a young woman I loved and lost!
And he looked wistful at the thought.

Indigo! Indigo! Oh, the fields of indigo!
Bring me there, bring me there
To the fields of indigo.
At Indigo Fields my heart will repair
And surely my spirit will swell and grow.

But, Old Father, the young maiden said to him,
she is not lost at all. I am to tell you this! To bring you news of joy!
She merely waits for you at the place called Indigo Fields.
There she is all-powerful, good in all her rights
and filled with knowledge to heal and help.
Mother-healer, chieftess, priestess,
she tends to all who come and to them yields
the beauty, quiet and peace of the indigo fields
and there amidst the heavenly scent she waits
for you to follow the path that brings you
through the woods and straight into her waiting heart.

She has been waiting for you all these years – bring yourself, she said.
Bring yourself and bring your people. Walk with steps of light!
Lead them to the Fields of Indigo so they may lose their fear
and be eased from all their care by the good things
waiting for them there – she waits for the people
to teach them of the ways of peace, and there in
the Fields of Indigo she waits, too, for you.
For you! And for all your people
so that they may discover
the sacred place and be content in it.

Indigo! Indigo! Oh, the fields of indigo!
Bring me there, bring me there
To the fields of indigo.
At Indigo Fields my heart will repair
And surely my spirit will swell and grow.

And without any waiting, no thought
of hesitating the Old Chief rose to his weary feet
and set his steps upon the track through the trees!
All around him came the sound of that singing voice
as if the spirits filled the trees and the sound was a joyous one,
it made his old heart full rejoice. And as he walked, he turned his head
to look all around. He looked left and he looked right,
no longer afraid of the wooded place, nor of the field it hid,
those Fields of Indigo! His eyes glowed young, his step was light,
his back unbent as to that sacred place he went and with him
all his people came with dancing in their steps.

The young woman walked with him,
her feet light and strong as she guided their way
through the woods to the Fields of Indigo.
The closer they came, the lighter their steps
and their backs began to straighten –
looking left and looking right,
each with a smile upon their face –
they were no longer afraid
for they were answering
the call of that sacred place.
One by one their worries fell
To lie upon the track
and one by one, their cares dissolved,
vanishing in the air that smelled of lavender.
They were answering the call to come to the Fields of Indigo,
answering the call to quietude and peace.

Indigo! Indigo! Oh, the fields of indigo!
Bring me there, bring me there
To the fields of indigo.
At Indigo Fields my heart will repair
And surely my spirit will swell and grow.

At the head of the crowd the Old Chief danced,
his heart was great and his heart was light
for now he heard his maiden calling,
and the young woman smiled and wondrous
was her delight to see upon his lined old face
how the lines of longings and of cares dissolved
and how peace did settle in their place.

As the people went, laughing sweet and true,
the scent of the heavenly lavender plant
all around them more powerful grew
and they laughed with joy and wonderment.

So great was the movement of their feet
on the track that it ceased to be so small –
a wide path first and then a road began
to shape out of the dust that led them
through the trees to the place
known as the Fields of Indigo.
A wide and open road there would be,
for all the rest of time, so that other travellers,
world weary and bent, could set their feet upon the road
that leads to Indigo Fields, the place of calm and beauty,
where, as legend would have it, people who linger there
grow peaceful as the stars and are filled with the same quiet
and graceful order and beauty that is the very nature of our mother, the Earth.

Indigo! Indigo! Oh, the fields of indigo!
Bring me there, bring me there
To the fields of indigo.
At Indigo Fields my heart will repair
And surely my spirit will swell and grow.

This is the story then:
this is the legend of the Fields of Indigo.
It has come. It has gone.
But the place of magic,
those sacred fields, they linger on –
always open, always fair, constant, quiet and beyond compare:
waiting and inviting you, world-weary traveller, to enter in
and savour the life found there: come, taste, enjoy!

Experience the beauty of the place in which you find
mind and body rested, savour the indigo hue of lavender
that will your soul fulfil, so that you may leave to return again,
knowing the peace of Indigo Fields lingers in your spirit still.

Indigo! Indigo! Oh, the fields of indigo!
To the fields of indigo.
At Indigo Fields my heart will repair
And surely my spirit will swell and grow.

Legend as told by Kerry-Lyn Radloff, 2006

“Go out, go out I beg of you,
And taste the beauty of the wild.
Behold the miracle of the earth
With all the wonder of a child.”
– Edna Jaques