I sometimes question why I keep coming back to this platform (the blog) for writing. But I know in my heart that somewhere I might leave a spark when someone receives my humble words with gusto.
I am a teacher – “by trade,” I always add. I was trained and have the degree to pass along information. But I am a sharer, by nature, wanting to pass on a seedling of small value that may grow in the imagination of the right soul.
I am also a storyteller. With words and my camera, I catalog for self-reflection the mysteries of my journey before the truths are realized. And maybe, someone out there can identify.
I was driven (by car) from my homeland and dropped (by faith) into this new country, the Low Country of South Carolina. The homeland of friends, of profession, of identity behind, this new country beckoned with it’s gentler climate, it’s unique beauty and a pace that was most necessary for me to learn at this point in life.
I am acquiring a new language, surmounting personal obstacles, discovering meaning as I dig and gather. Nothing new.
I am often alone, which allows time for pondering and creating. Lots of making, experimenting, analyzing, not always in that order. It’s a circle, all connected, rotating in either direction to the most essential point at a given moment.
In“The Alphabet of Trees” Margo Fortunato Galt’s writing exercise uses a circle as a mind map. She says “On the circle, every place is equal and every place is important and every place is the same.”
Yes; no matter where where you land.
This weekend I was faced with rethinking a decision to landscape the beds in front of our house. Each time we decide to change or renew an outdoor feature, we must submit for permission from a governing board. They questioned the distance from the bed to the road and my puzzlement, became frustration, became opportunity, became bounty.
We decided to forego more shrubbery and plant grass. So I busied myself with salvaging some bulbs before they were bulldozed away. As I dug small holes and moved dirt with my hands, I felt something unexpected.
It wasn’t the airy soil of my vegetable garden, but a dense and spongy clay. I was amazed by the random marbling of red ochre in the grayness of the glob. I added potting mix to the bulbs and collected a flower pot full of clumps to dry. From gray to red to golden.
I know the eco-folks gather soils on their jaunts and use it to color their papers. Here, in one spot, in my front landscape is a palette of earth ochres and Helen Fitzgerald’s video shares the ancient connections and explains how to make watercolor paint from it.
And another thing.
A simple message. Just keep digging!