Earlier this week, ProfessorRoush noticed the proximity of his third anniversary of blogging on Garden Musings and began toying with the thought of a deep, reflective blog entry to commemorate the occasion. Since then, I've mulled over ideas and chased after flickering images and begged the garden deities for a theme. I wanted to find a way to tell you (and me) what I think I've learned from blogging; to tell you how 525 blog entries have changed me and changed my writing and why I may not quite be done. Alas, a useful blog muse just kept eluding my efforts. Until Friday morning, that is, as I was leaving for work and experiencing an odd feeling that something was undone. Something was calling me from the garden.
Since I was not in a frantic hurry to make a living that morning, I took a moment just to walk out back onto the slightly wet patio and listen to what the garden had to say. My back garden, softly lit from the glowing dawn and covered in glistening jewels from an early morning sprinkle, waited patiently for me to find its secret. Glancing around, I focused quickly on a Northern Bayberry, a fine and nondescript green shrub of my landscape, that I otherwise rarely notice. This time it drew my attention by shouting at me, a dying branch brown against the rest of the thick olive-green foliage, demanding attention. And there it was, suddenly there. My blogging metaphor.
Somehow, my garden chose to surprise me once again, as it does over and over, this time unveiling a volunteer Redbud tree within the bayberry, strong, 8 feet tall and healthy. This adolescent woody treasure must be every bit of three years old and all this time it has been protected from my pruning shears, hidden within the heart of the nurturing bayberry bush. Despite my claims that I pay close attention to my garden, this stealthy native has exposed the lie, laid bare the fantasy that I'm in charge of my garden. It is completely out of place, this Redbud, and it will someday demand that the nearby lilac and cherry tree and perennials bow to its dominance, but I can't remove it now. Such a will to live must only be respected and cherished.
And therein lies the story of this blog. The entries are sometimes informative and sometimes inane, sometimes funny and sometimes foolish. There are bad pieces that simply bomb, as unsatisfying to me as they must be to you. But occasionally, just as an occasional surprise to myself, I find a lyrical voice or pen a written phrase that lifts me up and calms my desires. I hope and believe this is happening more often. In a personal blog there are no copy writers, no editors to correct my mistakes, no rewriting once the "publish" button is pressed. As it is cast upon the ether, the writing is either good or it isn't, but there it is. Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, has made the observation that exceptional talent is not just born, it requires 10,000 hours of practice to arrive. If he's right, then I have only 9500 more blogs to go before I'm complete.
As I wrote on the day that I started this blog, three years past, I write not out of narcissism or for profit, I write simply because I must write. If you find it interesting to follow the twists and turns of my mental meanderings, then please, keep reading. And I'll keep trying to surprise you, just like the shy Redbud popping into my garden.