Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012: Grow. Share. Observe. Learn. Pause. Focus.

Grow. Share. Observe. Learn. Pause. Focus. Six simple words I hope to live by in 2012.

I will grow my garden so that I may grow with it. There is nothing that reminds me of who I am more than having my garden's soil under my fingernails. As it grows, I will make an effort to welcome more people into it. My garden gate is as open as the minds that pass through it.

I will spend more time visiting the gardens of others so that I may share both their beauty and history. What makes a garden more than a collection of plants are its stories and the memories of life it evokes. These moments need to be preserved.

I will observe the wonder of nature as it changes before me. I have chosen Meadowbrook Park, 80-acres in Urbana, Illinois as my subject. The park includes a 30-acre tallgrass prairie restoration, woods and a small stream. It should provide an endless continuum of interest as I record the changing of the seasons.

I will learn more about the plants I grow. If there is one thing that I learned in 2011 is how little I actually know about the plants in my garden. To begin the slow elimination of my ignorance, I will write a monthly "Linnaeus Day" post on the 23rd of each month (Carl Linnaeus -- the Swedish botanist considered the father of modern taxonomy was born on May 23, 1707) in which I learn about and share the history, breeding and unique characteristics of a plant growing in my garden. I invite other garden bloggers to join in Linnaeus Day, as I think we all can learn more about the plants we grow.

I will pause each day to let Mother Nature refill me with the humility and awe necessary to appreciate her grandeur. The tornado of our hurried lives often leaves the impression that everything revolves around us. Whether it is a fiery sunset or a tiny water droplet hanging from the tip of a leaf, I will find that suspended instant in the day that restores my perspective and purpose.

I will focus, through my lens, but more importantly in my mind and heart. 2011 was a watershed year for me. It was a year that demanded I discover and define who I am. With a quiet confidence that I've never felt before, I can move forward with purpose in this new year.

Thank you for walking with me on this journey. My sincere hope is that I enrich your lives in some small way as I grow ... share ... observe ... learn ... pause ... and focus.



3 comments:

  1. You enrich my life constantly already, Chris, so this will be bonus! I would LOVE to join you on Linnaeus Day! This will be FUN!!

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  2. I think the Linnaeus Day post is a great idea, it's the thought of doing it 12 times that's daunting. (I know, broken down it's only once a month, and I should do it, for the simple reasons you state: to "learn about and share the history, breeding and unique characteristics of a plant growing in my garden.")

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