Today marks the first anniversary for Riverdaze. I began that initial blog entry with a confession: "I’ve never been much good at keeping a journal or diary." Today's post is number 219. Now I'm no math whiz, but I believe that's around 60 percent of a possible 365 posts, should I have somehow (ha!) managed one-per-day. Believe it or not, I assure you this is still better than I feared I'd do, given my track record. If nothing else, it certainly goes to show you I was trying to be truthful from the get-go…and might possibly have been prescient.
I had no idea what to expect from a blog. Would anyone read? Would they care? Would I write? Would I care? Would the endeavor be fun? It astonishes me the answer all around appears to be yes! Folks read and apparently enjoy their visit. I write and feel responsible to posting regularly and well. And I enjoy blogging immensely. Who wudda thunk?
My first-ever comment came from Nina, at Nature Remains, a week after putting up that initial post. I was thrilled. She also commented about a post I'd done that day which had a photo of sunlight shining through box-elder keys along the river. I answered her comment—a practice I've tried to maintain with each and every one who takes the time to write.
Another week and more posts passed. Nina commented again—possibly feeling sorry for me, a fellow Ohioan and not-too-distant neighbor. Solitary Walker and Forest Wisdom each left comments. Then KGMom…and she and I had a lively discussion about whether Truman Capote or Tennessee Williams made a certain quote, and whether one of the common names for German Baptists I'd used was spelled correctly. (I believe we were both right. Moreover, we've since enjoyed other discussions, just as lively, on the blog and via email.)
Frankly, I don't know whether I'd have kept this blog up if it hadn't been for these four bloggers who took the time to write. Their early comments really made more of a difference than they might ever imagine—and here and now, please believe I truly thank you each and every one.
As I continued blogging, more folks wrote. Their nice comments helped immensely. I learned about "followers" and "following." I decided I'd set a wish-goal…that a year from the time I'd begun, my list of followers might number a full dozen. Today, the Riverdaze followers count stands at an unbelievable 57! I'm both proud and humbled. Such public support is genuinely appreciated. And I also thank anyone who ever put Riverdaze on their sidebar list of "favorites" on their own blog—or linked something they'd written to a Riverdaze post.
Yet I want to make something perfectly clear…I don't blog to accumulate numbers of readers or followers, or obtain lots of comments. I blog because I've found nothing in life beats sharing. Sharing doubles pleasure and halves pain. Sitting at a banquet table alone is lonely, empty, and a waste; but when you dine at that same laden table with friends, laughing, talking, telling stories, discussing what's on your mind, that same meal becomes a feast, perhaps even a celebration. Life is made to be shared. I'm so very blessed to live in this modest stone cottage beside a lovely sycamore-lined river. I see wonders every day. There's always another adventure, big or small, waiting to be experienced, if we'll only open our eyes and minds and hearts.
Riverdaze exists because I want to share what I can of my blessings with you—through words and photos, using whatever alchemy I can muster on a given day to make the experience as real as possible. I want us to join at this riverbank table and share the feast.
At the end of that first post, I closed by saying: "If you enjoy this blog, let me know. I can always use the encouragement." That hasn't changed…I want to hear from you so I can welcome you to this shared celebration.
Thank you, everyone—followers, faithful readers, lurkers, occasional visitors. THANK YOU!