|An earlier header image for Penelopedia|
Five years ago today Penelopedia was born, with the inaugural post This Is My Garden. From its initial focus on the local food movement and vegetable gardening to the birds-and-nature blog it tends most often to be these days, this project has led me, more than anything else it has done, to learn about the things that I observe so that I can write about them.
|Later header image|
The blog has carried me through five pivotal years personally:
- A stint as a single mother living with my young son in a rented duplex with a patio garden (the subject of that first post)
- My eldest daughter leaving for college and emerging a beautiful, independent, competent young woman with a passion for art
- Joining Facebook and greatly expanding the circle of people I feel connected or reconnected to
- Getting married again and acquiring two cats along with my birdwatching, cat-loving husband, Dave
- Moving back into my former house with said husband and son
- My second daughter moving with her Dad to St. Paul so she could attend a performing arts high school there, then eventually graduating and going off to college herself to further develop her musical gifts, which were showing themselves by the time she was two
- Deciding to adopt a kitten for my son and coming home from the shelter with not one but two young cats, for a crazy total of four, without whom life would be far duller
- Saying goodbye soon afterward to my dear dog, Jennie
- My son finishing elementary school, suddenly shooting up and developing a man's voice, and completing a year of middle school (and becoming quite a good birdwatcher along the way).
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Over the course of 618 blog posts, I have become a more knowledgeable birdwatcher myself, and a somewhat better photographer with my simple point-and-shoot compact camera. I've also made "blog friends" I've never or rarely met in person.
I have had the delight of people occasionally letting me know that they get pleasure from my blog, or learn from it, or both. I generally write without thinking too much of who may read my words or see my images, so it is beautiful to know that they do sometimes land where they are appreciated. Thank you for that.
The main point of this blog is to celebrate that which is all around us but apart from the human routine. Combat nature deficit disorder. Walk in the woods. Hear the dawn chorus. Hear an owl. Observe patterns. Stretch your legs. Put up a bird feeder and see who comes. Breathe clean air. Watch the ever-changing sky and feel the wind on your face. Marvel at the web of the garden spider and the migration of the birds. Smell the sweet meadow and the ozone of the rainstorm. Touch the rough bark and the smooth stone. Walk in the softly falling snow. Blow the dandelion fluff. Taste the ripe berry by the side of the trail.
Notice, and learn, and celebrate, and respect, and tread lightly. That's what I'm trying in my small way to do.