October 26, 2012

When life gives you Oak leaves...


Sometimes the events, people, and happenings of life--like ordinary Oak leaves--scatter uncontrollably in a messy, unkempt mass.


Other times, as we attempt to take control, life appears a little more orderly and predictable.


But do any of us really have any control over either the big picture...


or the details?


To make sense of the whole big mess,


sometimes it helps to slow down,


and separate life's elements into smaller pieces.


Because examining life's memories one by one can be a rewarding, clarifying, and satisfying endeavor.


Each day, hour, and moment has its own beauty and its own flaws.


Even the imperfections, themselves, are striking. And they can point us in exciting new directions.


Often, the splashy, dazzling, seemingly "important" parts of life...


in retrospect, aren't nearly as treasured as simple memories with our closest loved-ones.


The most mundane events of life--like unassuming, brown Oak leaves--are worth examining more closely for their greater meanings and their under-appreciated beauty.


Most of all, a satisfying life goes beyond a big rush to put everything in neat piles and take control.


Because quite often, just when we think we have it all solved, controlled, and figured out, the next day or the next big gust of wind blows our orderly plan into a messy, unkempt mass once again.


Time to surrender...


and delight in the unexpected, simple moments of grace.

* * * * * *


Today is the second anniversary of PlantPostings' existence. I recently received a solicitation suggesting I could "breathe new life into the content" I created for my "old blog." Is a two-year-old blog an "old blog"? Have any of you received this same solicitation? Perhaps it's a good topic for a future post.

(Note: After reading some of your comments, I must add a disclaimer that my research leads me to believe the solicitation is an honest attempt to try a new platform. I was just curious about the funny wording. I wasn't really offended, just curious.)

But today I'm kicking up my heels and toasting two years of interacting with so many truly incredible bloggers and gardeners. Cheers! And thank you most warmly!

42 comments:

  1. Congrats on two years. Beautiful oak leaf images too. What is ironic about your choice of subject matter is that Oak leaf physiology and chemical makeup allows them to last long past their actual death. So to have them as your post topic is fitting. Colonialist made them into mattresses because they were springy and lasted years. Hopefully, you blog on for years to come.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind words and friendship, Donna. Oak leaves do, indeed, stick around for a long time. The trees are pretty amazing for many reasons. I seem to remember hearing about the colonialist mattress-stuffing at a living history farm one time. Practical ingenuity at its best!

      Delete
  2. I love this post! Oak leaves always make me smile and they are wonderful mulch for the garden. Driving through town the other day I saw all the leaves homeowners had carefully raked to the curb for pickup and was amazed at their dedication to the raking chore. But then we had 50mph winds last night, so I bet those leaves aren't curbside any more, lol. Mother Nature has a mind of her own.

    Congratulations on two years of blogging, and here's too many, many more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Karen! My son and I raked round #1 of the piles into the woods last Sunday, and then round #2 of the leaves dropped suddenly by Tuesday (the landscape photos of the garden above). Fortunately, I didn't bother raking because our storm last night blew most of the leaves right into the woods! Yay!

      Delete
  3. Congratulations on two years, Beth! This is a beautiful post and so well done. I have not received that particular solicitation, but I don't think your blog is old, nor your content. You always breathe fresh life into your posts which makes for interesting content.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Michelle! I thought the solicitation's wording was interesting. I know social media is always shifting and changing and there has been talk for months about how blogs are on their way out. That seems funny, because so many of our circle of gardening friends seem as committed as ever to this particular format. I'm certainly open for change, but generally Blogger and WordPress (and a few others) seem so perfect for gardeners to compare ideas and share...

      Delete
  4. I never would have thought of making an analogy between life & leaves! Very good!
    I've never received any solicitation on my blog (& if yours is "old," mine is "ancient" ~ almost 5 yrs!) Sometimes I can see how blogging might be on it's way out ~ it's more time consuming than just quickly sending out an instagram/tweet. It seems like everyone's attention span keeps getting shorter so a short blurb might get more attention (but I can't see how it would ever be good for learning?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kathleen. Yeah, I had to chuckle about the wording. I guess my blog is more "middle-aged" than "old." But is any blog really "old"? We're all constantly reinventing ourselves. I like the idea of switching things up from time to time--interspersing quick wordless posts with thoughtful, researched how-tos. And I like to see variety in other blogs, too. Yours is always a pleasant place to visit!

      Delete
  5. I am willing to bet that the solicitation you got was sent out in a blast email and the person who wrote it never even saw your blog. Congratulations on your second year, and rest assured I have never found your blog to be tired or stale. Quite the contrary, I've found the writing and photography here to be generally fresh and intriguing. Keep blogging as long as you enjoy it, and don't let the mass marketing gimmicks distract you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll bet you're right, Jason. I actually think it's an honest attempt to start a new way of sharing information. But sometimes the blast email technique just doesn't work. Thanks for the kind words! I've truly enjoyed comparing gardening notes with you, and I appreciate your support!

      Delete
  6. Oh, my garden is as leaf covered as yours but what I see is.....compost. Control is just an illusion. Enjoy the day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Compost, glorious compost! We are like-minded, Layanee. Sometimes I kid myself into thinking I'm in control, but then I'm reminded to instead be ready for the next stage and give thanks for the simple pleasures and the very special people in my life. :)

      Delete
  7. A beautiful and thoughtful post, Beth. The images of the oak leaves are lovely; they always remind me of the majestic trees from which they fell.

    I receive solicitations like this every once in awhile, and I always ignore them. Someone once emailed me offering to do a guest post on mine. I'm sure she expected to share in my blog income; little did she know there is no income:)

    Congratulations on your second blogaversary! I don't remember how I first found your blog or if you found me, but however it happened, I'm so glad I did. I've enjoyed reading your all your posts and seeing your great photos; it's fun, too, to compare notes with a northern "neighbor."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rose! I hear you on the "income." ;-) I'm thrilled that we're blogger friends. Sometimes our comparisons surprise me, sometimes they don't. One would expect that my garden would be behind yours in the spring and ahead of yours (stages) in the fall. But there are always microclimates, plant maturity, strange weather patterns, and other issues to keep things interesting for us!

      Delete
  8. Loved your pictures, and the message. It was a shock to see the leaves that were in control become a mess again. And, yes, that is how it seems to happen in life, too! Happy second blogaversary! I get those odd solicitations sometimes, too. Ignore them. The worst one I had said I should give up my blog because what I had to say was not worth reading! :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Holley! Well, actually we raked the piles into the woods. But then the Oak trees dropped the rest of their leaves in one big whoosh! Which is surprising, because often they stay on until winter. In retrospect, we should have just waited until the final leaf-drop, but who would know? I usually ignore these types of solicitations, but this one had me chuckling--especially as I approached my second blogaversary. Perfect fodder for this post.

      Delete
  9. Blerk! Spam - and rude they are too, I get told - you should use pictures.
    Happy second blogaversary, and I much enjoyed a fresh look at autumn falling oak leaves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't be too surprised if it was spam, although I did a little research on the new company and the name (of course I didn't click directly on the link in the email because I didn't want to get a computer virus). But they lost me with the wording. ;-) I love your blog, Diana! It's such a treat to compare notes with someone in a totally different climate and part of the world. Cheers! Here's to many more years of comparing gardening lessons and ideas!

      Delete
  10. Congratulations on your two year blogaversary! I really enjoyed this post. So true that some of the best parts of life are the seemingly mundane parts. Never under-appreciate the simple oak leaf!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Deb! One thing I've noticed after two years of garden blogging is that very often Oak leaves sneak into my photos of other more vibrant plants. Of course that makes sense since my backyard is an Oak forest. But what's surprising is how sometimes the Oak leaves are more photogenic than the plants my eyes see first. It's an interesting phenomenon.

      Delete
  11. Congratulations on two years! The time goes by quickly doesn't it? I really enjoyed your oak leaves and wise words! I often try to control too much but have been learning to let go a little more. I got a kick out of your piles of leaves. The cooler weather and when nature goes down to rest provides gardeners a time to reflect and rest and cherish all those memories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Karin! Yes, I still feel like a new blogger. ;0) Every October since we moved into this house 13 years ago, I stress out a little bit thinking about the Oak leaves before and during the drop. Once it's done and the leaves either blow away or get raked and mulched away, it's kind of a refreshing feeling of accomplishment. And the activity of raking is actually great exercise. But I have to surrender the idea of a tidy garden--at least until springtime.

      Delete
  12. Lovely photo's and congratulations on your anniversary.Sometimes I need to sit back and reflect on what's really important in my life, instead of the things I tend to become obsessed with, like the garden, which I tend to think I have control over. Lovely post. Best Wishes Karen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I've often fallen into the trap in life and in the garden of focusing too much on dramatic "important" events (and plants), and not appreciating the little things (and more modest plants) enough. Thankfully my garden is my muse, so it's always feeding me ideas. :-)

      Delete
  13. This is one of the nicest, and most refreshing posts I have read in a long time...it's inspiring, and enlightening....spammers take a hike.

    Many happy anniversaries to you....

    What's with others telling you to do something to your blog? Maybe they should be looking at their "suggestive" email and reconsidering their tired words....lol.

    Beautifully written, wonderfully illustrated with the images that you used...I so enjoy my time here.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are too kind, Jen. Thank you! Yes, LOL on the writing in the email solicitation. Oh well, I really didn't take offense. I just figured it was a blast email and that many others would have the same or a similar reaction. Thanks so much for your kind words.

      Delete
  14. What a lovely photographic study of oak leaves. They're beautiful. They're also rich in nutrients and make a great mulch when they break down.

    I also enjoy the oak leaf analogy. There's been a lot of research on how trees affect us spiritually, but my post would be exceedingly long.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lorraine. I have to credit the health of my garden at least partially to the Oak leaf "tea" in the soil. Oak leaves break down very slowly compared with other plant material, but when they do break down they add so many nutrients as you say. I believe what you are saying about trees. A garden lacking at least a few trees just doesn't feel right to me.

      Delete
  15. Congrats Beth on two wonderful years of your amazing blog. I agree so much with your post which made me smile...I love leaving the leaves as they mulch all the beds in winter and spring. By mid summer they have decomposed. And the leaves on the grass get mowed up for mulching on and around the veg beds...can't fight nature! Your oak leaves are beautiful....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Donna! I wish there was an easier way to get the Oak leaves out of all the little nooks and crannies in the springtime garden. But at this time of year, I pretty much surrender to the Oak leaves. ;-)

      Delete
  16. Congrats on 2 years of blogging! I say you're only as old as you feel, and that goes for blogs too, no? This was a very thoughtful post. Most times with nature, we just have to let go, take things as they come, and appreciate the beauty of it all, even when there's a mess. Thanks for your kind words on my post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! LOL, yes, I agree. I still feel younger than my age, and my blog feels new to me. Always learning something new. You are very wise, and I'm enjoying all my visits to your blog!

      Delete
  17. Congratulations on your 2 year anniversary Beth! And I don’t think 2 years is old in the blogosphere, I am having my 2 year anniversary in exactly 2 months from now, 1st January 2013, can’t understand where these 2 years have gone! The thing is, if you start changing the blog, with a different theme that has different width and so on, all your old posts get changed too, not just the new ones! The only alternative is to make a new blog, with a new name, and who would want that?? So I think I will stick to what I have, perhaps change the background colour if I get too bored...

    Loved your post, the photos were gorgeous, I agree that leaves should lie if you can, they bring back important nutrition to the soil. The biggest tree I have on my property is unfortunately out in the street, so I have to clear all the leaves, it is a London Plane tree, it is absolutely huge and all the leaves end up in my front garden. I usually wait until most of it has dropped, or else I could be sweeping leaves every day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Helene! Our blogs are nearly the same age! I agree the months have passed too quickly. The leaves mostly blew into the woods after a minor windstorm and then the remnants of Hurricane Sandy, which affected us believe it or not! A London Plane tree--hmmmm, I will have to research that. Regarding the blog, yes, changing things up too much is very disruptive. But I do like to occasionally change the header, the fonts, and the color scheme. And I strive to constantly improve the photos and frequently switch up the writing style. Thanks for your kind words. :)

      Delete
  18. Thank you Beth, for these 2 years of wonderful photos and precious suggestions about gardening and life.
    About a new blog or new contents here... I really don't know. I'd say: "Và dove ti porta il cuore", that means "Follow your heart".
    Ciao!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very wise, Dona. And too kind. Following my heart has never let me down. Ciao!

      Delete
  19. Congratulations on your two years of blogging. In blogtime, that is a long time considering how many last and how many disappear. Today, November 3, is my two year anniversary too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Carolyn! I thought we started our blogs around the same time. I've learned so much from you in the short time we've been corresponding. Happy blogaversary to you, too!

      Delete
  20. Liz, Congrats for enduring in the editing of a blog, the most important thing is, it's for you and after for communicating, so have heave done a fantastic job there. Your photos are giving the memories of northen forests and I missed them more than I thought I would, so thank you. keep your enthusiasm, that's were the power is!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lula! This is a good friendship to maintain because I enjoy visiting your blog for images and information about Mediterranean gardens, plants, and landscapes. I appreciate your kind words. :)

      Delete
  21. Congratulations on your two years of blogging. That reminds me, that I started in an October, I think, 3 years ago, so I need to go back and see when that was, because I usually make note of it in a post, too.

    I loved this post, which is more creative than what I come up with, and not at all stale! LOL I get different requests to put links to sites. Some, I respond to to let them know I don't advertise, but other times, I just delete them. Anyway, I love your photos and the thoughts you expressed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sue: Congrats to you, too! Thanks for your kind comment. I truly enjoy visiting your "corner garden." Your plant collection is incredible and I find your descriptions and combinations of plants quite creative!

      Delete

Thanks for stopping by!

(Your comment might not appear right away. PlantPostings uses comment moderation, and we read every comment before we publish.)