Back when I was living in the little house on Hamilton Street in Toronto, my backyard garden became a regular topic for my blog. It was easy, it was handy, and it was powerful: that little yard, only 15 by 30, was so fertile, and so responsive to daily concern, that it became symbolic of how one might shape a little life, with endeavour and constancy, toward goodness and hope.
Even among the seemingly opposing forces of contemporary urban life, the garden and my writing about it guided me toward something greater. Much like my writing on canoeing, carpentry, and music, it was as much aspirational as inspirational.
Since moving to Cobourg nearly four years ago, the scene has shifted substantially. For one thing, there are little kids underfoot, a travel schedule that’s at times gruelling, and a much larger house and yard to take care of. That explains a lot of the blank spaces in what was once a very vibrant blog. Of course Facebook has really displaced blogging in terms of regular interaction online as well——a lot of what I once posted as musings in this space now wind up as conversations there, with what I hope are positive results.
Things I was once working toward are actually happening. My music has taken root, enough so that the endeavour requires much more of my attention, and allows much less public reflection. Having established a decent career as an online writer with Discovery, CBC, Canoe, Macleans, and Adventure Canada, I’m much less inclined to write ‘for practice’ here. It’s all I can do to keep up with my seasonal articles for The Link, and I actually forget to post things like my recent item in Landlines and Pathways.
Perhaps most importantly, things like our backyard garden—a place of great beauty and hope—have begun to tell their own stories. The garden, in fact, is its own blog. To know it, to understand it, I simply have to be there.