Sunday, October 14, 2012

An Eager Soul, Ready Lens, and Perpetually Dirty Gloves


Light from the dining room creeps a few feet into the darkness outside, revealing a smattering of soggy leaves on the back deck. It's been raining here for about 24 hours. The calendar says October, but the air smells distinctively of spring. There's no fooling me, though, for my internal clock strikes autumn.

In this part of the country, October is the beginning of the end. Within a few weeks, we're sure to have a killing frost that will drag a pall over the growing season. Some gardeners dread this event. Not me. I relish the metamorphosis of autumn. Sometimes it's far too abrupt, as if summer is ripped from our not-yet-satisfied fingertips. But change is good -- a reminder that we should never become too accustomed to the status quo.

Autumn makes me reflective, my birth month of October especially so. This year, the changing season mirrors the change that has occurred in my life -- a significant career move, more involvement in my son's scouting and baseball activities, and stepping down after a ten-year stint on our neighborhood association board. There have been times this year where my garden -- and this blog -- felt like an afterthought.

I began 2012 with ambitious goals for this blog. You know what they say about the best laid plans? Mine certainly went astray, and I know why. I made plans -- and a schedule -- full of ambition, but not of passion. In doing so, I ended up imposing a have-to mentality on my photography and writing. I took a passionate hobby, one that has given me great satisfaction and afforded me the opportunity to meet amazing people and experience phenomenal places, and turned it into a job. By mid-summer,  the drought taxed my persistence in the garden and my blog posts felt increasingly like chores.

If I look back through the years of posts here at From the Soil, my favorite posts are spontaneous -- inspired by a unique view of my own garden, the smell of fresh soil, a breathtaking sunset, a friend's words, a family memory, or a simple expression on my son's face. Spontaneity is not work; it has no schedule.

I believe that most writers and photographers have an innate need to share their experience of the world -- and connecting with others through common inspiration. Both avocations are internally and individually therapeutic, but they have a necessary external component to them. From the Soil is my outlet, my way of describing and sharing those moments that inspire me -- with the hope that those it reaches will share a little of themselves in return.

Spontaneity doesn't punch a clock. Inspiration doesn't post at the same time every day. Mine comes when I live life with my heart, mind and eyes wide open.  My promise to myself: Get back to living life. My promise to you: When inspiration graces me, I'll do my best to share it with an eager soul, ready lens, and perpetually dirty gloves.







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