August 19, 2003

Jewels, Revisited

image copyright Fred First

We have written recently about 'weblogs as place' at the Ecotone. Several of those who contributed this time, myself included, feel that our weblogs serve in a quasi-physical way to ground us, giving our inner-writer a rootedness and connection to both self and the places that fill our vision and thoughts and memories. And there is more than that for me in this electronic journal. I am discovering the weblog is becoming a way of calling back calendar pages from a year and more, when I first began to talk to myself about the weather, my own moods, and the not-so-small wonders that I discovered here as I became immersed in my own fields, garden, ridgetops and creeks.

It feels like Autumn today. And after my first year of keeping a weblog journal, I find that when I see or smell or hear some thing in the changing season that would have sent me back in distant memory to Autumns past, now too I remember back into the less distant archives to what it was I felt and said about that very same catalyst just a year ago in the weblog. Writing has given me a way of collecting days in the way my camera captures and holds light. I wonder what I would read about if I had been blogging twenty years ago when I was so inconsistently and illegibly journaling in short dabs -- when the kids were small and so many wonderful people and beautiful places and the great ideas of great men passed through my plesantly busy days.

Last Fall, in the midst of a prolonged drought, only a few of these "Jewels of August" came up along the branch that is burbling out the window this early morning, out of our abundance in contrast to last year's lack, flowing down from deep waterfilled rock that lies under the steep hills up back of the house. In writing about it last year, I described at some length the natural history of this flower that adorns the edges of our yard by the thousands this week. And too I wrote of more distant memories of our children gleefully afraid to make the seedpods of the "touch-me-nots" 'explode', and of baking the seeds into cookies. Looking back, I see there have been very few new pictures or rambling, whimsical nature-notes this cool, soggy summer of failed gardens and lost companions.

I wonder: will I still be journaling in a weblog-- or whatever this medium evolves into-- twenty years from now? Will reading about today bring smiles? Tears? Will I remember these days then, or only think that I do, confusing my words this morning for memories of an old man? This I cannot know. But in twenty years, I know there will still be "jewels" growing in profusion along "our" little branch. And from our porches, someone else will likely be watching the hummingbirds' blurred buzzings between tentacled, hanging orange flowers that look as though they might have risen up from a coral reef underground.

Posted by fred1st at August 19, 2003 05:57 AM | TrackBack
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