Moose Hill Journal is two years old!
I just read the first post on the Moose Hill Journal written two years ago and I am quite surprised that this effort has turned out much the way I had imagined it on that early spring day in 2006. I still can’t explain exactly why I felt a need to walk and sit in the open to explore nature and explore my thoughts. Most likely, it was just my version of a mid-life crisis; another case of Boomer navel-gazing. I had recently passed 50 and my wife and I were rather new empty-nesters. I felt an urge to reflect on my life – what it was supposed to be, what it had become, and where it might be headed. I wanted to reconnect with the outdoors. Life in the woods had been such a vital part of my identity as a youth and I had let that part of my life slip away. I wanted that part of me back.
I can thank Julie Zickefoose (See sidebar.) for a big part of the inspiration. I heard her NPR commentary on blogging just a few days before I had that first breakfast on the hill. I found her blog and a whole new world was opened to me. Not only was I moved by her stories, photos and art, but by following her links I discovered a web of connections among dozens of thoughtful and talented souls. When I was thinking about how I should record my Moose Hill observations, a blog seemed like the perfect medium.
I am surprised that I’ve kept at it this long. I suspect that one day I’ll just stop. Perhaps I’ll simply exhaust the supply of things I feel like talking about. Maybe all the walks will start feeling the same and offer no new surprises. Or, maybe I’ll wake up one day and ask: What’s the point? For now, a new season is arriving and I want to be there to watch.
I’m also surprised at how quickly and thoroughly this blogging experience has become an important part of my life. I spend a lot of time thinking about my time in the woods and about things I might want to write about. I’m constantly scanning my thoughts and experiences for post topics. I think of it as exercise for an ageing brain. My wife likes to do sudoku puzzles. I ponder essay topics. I’m always thinking about my next trip to the Hill; where I might go and what I might see. In a way, for me, Moose Hill has become more than a geographic location. It has become something of a state of mind. Maybe if I keep this up for a few more years, I’ll be able to explain what that means.
Finally, I want to thank my readers. These days, I get about ten hits a day and most of those are click-throughs of people searching for something like information on “cheap tequila.” A typical post might attract five comments. About ten is the most I can hope for. I benefit from low expectations so I have learned not to dwell on or obsess about these things, but I value readers and their input. To the handful of readers who read and comment regularly: Thank you. Knowing that you read my posts helps keep me going. I try to return the favor and I truly enjoy the windows into your world that you open with blogs of your own. To those who may read but don’t comment: Don’t be shy! I want to know who you are, where you are, and what’s on your mind.
Well, the sap has been rising, the peepers are peeping and the timberdoodles are peenting. It’s time to go for a walk. Won’t you come along?