When I was younger, I used to believe that out of everyone I knew, I was the only one who not only appreciated nature, but loved it, pined for it, understood it as a perfect part of life. I talked to the trees. Yes, I was one of those. I could spend hours by myself in the woods, or by a stream, or watching the light shift across the surface of a lake. My first memory is of a mountain landscape in Montana, the feeling of the wind rushing up my legs, the blueness of the sky.
I began this blog for several reasons, but it was naive to not count among them connection with other "place people." I didn't know. I didn't even guess that fifteen months from its inception, this blog would have introduced me to complete strangers who now feel like friends, and friends who are now ever-more-deeply that because we've had cause to discuss and share about things that before just somehow never came up. I didn't know that what I'd most appreciate a year later about this space was not the essays or the plant names or the adventures: it would be the community. The understanding that I am not the only one, of course. There are thousands, millions, of hearts that quicken at the same things, and they have been beating alongside mine all along.
My goal at the outset of this blog was to write consistently for one year. Then, to keep going until I'd tackled my Thirty Before Thirty list. I stepped into my thirties this past month. Now what? I'll change the Thirty Before Thirty tab to Life List (I'll get to the Soudan Mine one day). I'll add a few new changes to About Me. And then I'm going to stop holding myself accountable here, at least in the same way. I'll still write posts, certainly, but only when I must, when I've been alone in the woods too long even for me and I need to reach out.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to every reader, commenter, and thinker that has entered this space. It's so good to be a student of the world, and so nourishing to be one among friends.