"Winds of the North! restrain you icy gales,
Nor chill the bosom of these happy vales!"
Erasmus Darwin, The Botanic Garden
I recently joined the "Urban Homesteaders Garden Ring" but I admit to having some misgivings. The site says:
“This ring is for garden blogs only! Any blog relating to gardening is excepted (sic).” Tough to get past that gaff. Then again, why should anybody care about spelling? Spell check can’t help us in the land of the homonym. In the land of the inarticulate, the voluble blogger is king, and damn the rookie spelling and grammar ahead. What if they actually DO mean “anybody with the exception of garden blogs” after all, and the joke’s on me.
I’m torn. On one hand, I want my blog to be the Next Big Thing, a jewel in the rough, a font of frickin’ wisdom wrt/thinking gardeners. On the other hand, I don’t want to promote myself. How vulgar. I’d rather be “discovered”. I flatter myself that I’m that oxymoron: very unique – just like everybody else. So, joining even grammatically-challenged rings and communities of bloggers who garden (or gardeners who blog) is a way to promote myself under the radar of other wannabe celebs seeking their fifteen minutes, looking for a book deal, or hyping their books or products in their blogs.
One thing I like to write about here is what I see when I squint into the sun some days, high on gardening. I’m unique like about a million other people communing with Mother Nature, many who can tell (or show) their stories with a grace and wisdom that I can only aspire to. On the other hand, I’d secretly like to think my blog compares to a “typical” garden blog, the way a Nobel Prize in Gardening compares to the smiley face sticker on the elementary school test magnetized to your refrigerator sometime in the past 30 years.
Besides, I’m too old to give a crap about My Face (sic) and to only marginally “get” why people would want to use their phones to type instead of talk to others. Nah, on second thought, I don’t get it at all. Seriously.
Whatever I expected when I started to blog, I got something completely unexpected – and better. I got to meet people all over the world who share their experiences with me. I joined the company of nice men and women who all know that our ability to garden, and to blog, places us at the extremely rich end of the bell curve of the other people alive today on this planet with us. One common theme I find in garden blogs is that gardeners are grateful.
In gratitude, we share things I can’t even begin to lump into a category like "flowers" or "composting", but which mine rich veins in the trains of thought I’ve hopped on while I'm gardening. I learn not just gardening tips, but rediscovered ancient lore. We learn to recognize all the primal allegories about men and gardens, and we share the truth of the ancient wisdom, the stuff that we think is too important to lose.
The best part is that we are Whoever we chose to tell others. Not only does nobody know if you’re a dog on this series of tubes, they don’t know if you’re fucked up unless you chose to say so. You never fall down, forget and pause in mid-sentence, lose your temper, or unintentionally look foolish. I’m only old if I say I am. Only in pain, ill, depressed, imperfect to the degree I want to say so. I’m in charge of my relationships on line, and I think it’s no accident that garden bloggers are, generally speaking, nice and compassionate people. (The picture is "Winter" by Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527-1593) but the likeness to me is uncanny)
So, despite my vaingloriously pathetic dreams of wanting notoriety, it turned out instead that I got what I needed. I like to think my blog adds some spice to the savory stew of people who garden and blog about their happy vales (particularly, lately, those who grow their own food) and other miscellaneous people out there, surfing those interwebs, using the Google and whatnot. This is fun. That’s why I joined the garden ring.