Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gentle Harvest

How quickly a year has passed . . .

Last June 23rd I sat next to Elizabeth as she guided me into the world of cyber journaling. When she hit “Publish” my heart went into PANIC!

“Wait! Not yet!” I blurted.

“Too late,” she grinned, knowing all too well that her mother would dither forever about opening wide the doorway to her home and gardens and family and heart-thoughts.

She knew.

Without her publishing push and Karen Deborah’s nagging steady encouragement, I never would have unlocked the gate and let you in for a peek.

For years upon years I have kept journals, written letters (some never intended to be read by a recipient), scribbled stories, recorded memories, and dreamed big dreams that never even make it to print as I freely spin away dancing and singing in the gardens or in the kitchen or reclining in a tub of bubbles. “A dream is a wish your heart makes,” sings Cinderella; my heart works overtime in the dreams department . . . it always has.

As a little girl I would lay in bed before sleep overtook me and imagine the way things could be. As I imagined I made some plans. Many fell away but some took root and became part of my life. This little blog sprouted from one of those seeds dropped to grow a connecting place for family, which produced a most unexpected harvest of new friends who came bearing their dreaming hearts. I wander freely through blogs filled with ideas, hopes, dreams, events, hurts, and so much more. I read and smile knowingly or gasp in astonishment or laugh uproariously or drop to my knees in prayer. Without knowing it, that “Publish” moment planted rows of dreams that have yielded a gentle harvest of such goodness.

Over the course of the past year I nearly pulled my blog down several times as I wrestled with the time commitment, the expectations, the comment dilemma (keep it and not worry who comes – close it and wonder if anyone comes), and all the other logistics of publishing from the heart. I have also begged off from playing tag or contesting or meme-ing or chasing after comments – it just doesn’t feel right for me, though I find nothing wrong with any of it (kinda like garage sailing or not . . . I don’t, but others do and love the thrill – different strokes . . . ).

I wandered in the wilderness at some stages in the growth of Wisteria and Roses – mostly due to technical ignorance – but determined to learn one new thing every time I sat down to blog (today I learned to use the “strike out” mode). I still chafe a bit that I had to forgo naming my blog Wisteria Cottage, as I had planned; some other person nabbed the name before I entered the scene, but closed down their blog without releasing the name. : (
Adjusting, learning, falling down, trying again, laughing, crying, hoping, praying . . . I look back and see baskets brimming with so much I have gained over this past year’s “experiment” in blogging.

Yes, I set out to “experiment” for a year. I figured if I had anything worthwhile to say it would surely take no more than a year, BUT – I found that blogging means so much more than merely saying something or even showing something. (Did I mention I had ZERO photography skills before I began blogging – NADA! I relied on Gary and Elizabeth for every pic and edit in those early days!)

Blogging, for me, serves as more than a sounding board or a “show-and-tell” session, though it often involves that and I LOVE the way bloggers share so freely of what they know or do or feel. When I hop from blog to blog I “visit.” When people pop in to see me, I want them to feel welcome and invited in for a little respite and just a peek into another way of walking the path. My journey differs from your journey and maybe, just maybe, that stretches our hearts a wee bit more than we expected to a very good end.

When I read of life in Australia or Norway or France or Canada or The South or The North or even right across town, I cast my focus away from what I know and live, and find another’s pathway. Maybe it contains a garden of the hottest colors and most robust annuals, which bears no resemblance to my dreams for my own garden, but I find joy in the visit nonetheless. Foods, d├ęcor, lifestyle, fashion, childrearing, faith, politics, and all the rest spill forth from blogs and I have found the breaths of fresh air bracing and exhilarating. I love blogging!

So, I guess you have guessed that my “one year” experiment has expired and will have no effect on my blogging habits. I will continue to blog at whim about whatever crosses my heart and spills over to share. My children delight in sharing (some more than others) and the bounty of my garden and table provide lots of inspiration for posts. The natural flow of memories continues to grace this blog with stories and celebrations from today, yesterday, and way back when without showing signs of waning. In short, my blog will ramble and tumble and dance and sing as it always has. My arms spread out to catch the gentle harvest from your thoughts and dreams and all the rest without an expiration date.

And so, when you peek through the garden gate at Wisteria and Roses I will be here to welcome you with a steeping teapot and a plumped cushion in a waiting chair. Shall I pour out as we take a pause from our busy lives and simply visit?


Tricia said...

I am so glad that you opened your heart and life for strangers like me. Strangers to "meet" and become "kindred hearts." Your blog is a breath of fresh air in my life and though we may never meet face to face, I thank God for you.

Linda said...

I agree with Tricia. I am glad I came across your blog. You make us feel so welcome in your garden of life.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Happy one year! So glad you made that decision.

It was my daughter who nagged me into starting a blog. :)

Grandma Tillie's Bakery said...

I am so very glad you blog and so very glad you will continue to blog! I love my visits here...

Karen Deborah said...

NAG NAG NAG!!! and thank you Jesus that I did, and God bless Elizabeth for hitting publish and your heart writing is your BEST EVER. I am not ummmm, well that is a subjective comment I guess but I think every one would agree.

I agree with eveything you said. Ditto. How do you do the strike out? I never took any pictures either. I'm actually pretty proud of my toads and the one green tomato.

I am a hopeless forever blogger. I could no more quit than saw off one of my feet.

Seriously I am grateful you blog it's like getting to be neighbors again the only thing missing is real tea and real hugs but this is pretty great.

Becky said...

*hands Karen Debora a saw*

LOL, kidding, kidding. ;-)

I ditto what she said and want to add that I love you and your blog and that I can come for tea (proverbial but 'tea' nonetheless) and stroll through your garden or hear your heart ramblings of wisdom anytime I want.

Happy blogoversary my friend. And tell Elizabeth I said Thanks ;-)

P.S. I did a pinkish post you may like :-D

Elizabeth said...

Congratulations on making it to your one yr mark- I am so glad your experiment was successful :) I absolutely love visiting with you and can tell you that you are a real encouragement to me!

When surrounded by children (and animals) all day it makes for little time to have adult companionship- you are a blessing, for real!!!! :)

scrappy quilter said...

I'm so glad that Publish button was pushed. You are a wonderful writer and have an awesome blog. You have such a way with words. Love it!!

Ruth MacC said...

Well, i am glad you are a blogger and that we have met. I started bloggiong a few years ago, with a home schooling blog but found that I was using it to show off and so I deleted it. It was a pity, because I enjoyued it and should have used more self control. This time I am determened to deep it beause I would miss everybody so much.

I liked what you said when you wrote..
I want them to feel welcome and invited in for a little respite

That's often how I feel when I visit your life, respite:0)

Thanks Debbie