A year ago this week, HeartWood's first post went live, so this is our blog-iversary, and we're celebrating!
Come to think of it, we're big on celebrations in general, I realized as I looked back at the past year's posts. One of our earliest posts was a wide-ranging rumination on celebrations—of special occasions and special people, of big events and small moments that are just as deserving of a hooray!
We didn't have to go far at all for some of our experiences. We stopped in at local hangouts and even went on a writing retreat without leaving home.
When HeartWood launched a year ago, that same yoga group was central to many of our lives, and our teacher Ellie Randazzo was central to the group. Her death in August was a shattering loss that still affects us deeply. I'm happy to report, though, that we continue to honor her memory by practicing together weekly at the same time, in the same place where we practiced with Ellie. Her spirit still guides us.
All of these experiences over the past year have given us plenty to think about, and we've taken time to reflect on such topics as serendipity, slowing down, home, expanding our social circles and the importance of striking a balance between on-the-go activity and solitude. We've embraced our bodies! And we've embraced our creativity, too, considering the roles of chaos and boundary crossing in stimulating imagination. And because this has been a year of divisiveness as well as harmony, we've given some thought to how we communicate with people whose opinions differ from our own.
That's a look back. Now it's time to look ahead. When I started this blog, I vowed to stick with it for a year, then reassess and decide whether to keep going. How to decide? Feedback and figures are one measure, and on both counts I'm encouraged. The comments I get from readers and the growing numbers of page views and individual visitors tell me this endeavor is worth the time I'm putting into it.
What's more, I'm enjoying this undertaking way more than I expected to. It's satisfying to have an outlet for my own writing and a place to share guest posts and interviews and to know that someone is actually reading this stuff and maybe getting something useful from it.
So here's to another year of HeartWood, and here's where you come in. I'd love to know what kinds of posts you most enjoyed in the past year and what topics, events, places and people you'd like to see featured in future posts.
Oh, and I know it's not polite to ask for gifts, but if you're wondering what to give HeartWood on this special occasion, a few more subscribers would be really terrific. My goal is to double (or more) the number of current subscribers over the next few months. So if you haven't subscribed, please consider signing up (see form at right side of page). And if you're already a subscriber, please encourage one or more friends to subscribe.
Now, on with the party!
Written from the heart,
from the heart of the woods
Read the introduction to HeartWood here.
Nan Sanders Pokerwinski, a former journalist, writes memoir and personal essays, makes collages and likes to play outside. She lives in West Michigan with her husband, Ray.