Not-So-Wordlesss Wednesday: A Tale Of 3 Bloggers

A funny thing happened on the way to this post. 

I thought I would write about my Christmas wish list — you know, wishing it was warmer, wishing I could plant some seeds — that sort of thing.  At least, that was my plan until I opened up my comments awaiting approval, where I read the urgent request of The Last Leaf Gardener (TLLG), a gardener based in New York City.  She was worried about the health and well-being of another blogger, Patrick of Patrick’s Garden

TLLG had posted a comment on Patrick’s site but hadn’t heard from him.  When she tried to phone him, she learned that the phone was not in service.  Concerned, she contacted me because I was the last person to have posted a comment on Patrick’s Garden and to have him respond to me. 

I wrote back to TLLG.  No, I typed, I don’t know anything about Patrick — but if I do hear of anything, I will contact her. 

The truth is, I did know a bit about Patrick because of his posts — but that was it.  I had never met him or spoken to him.  All we shared were a handful of comments on one another’s blogs.  So why was I now so worried?  Why should I worry about someone I’ve never met, about someone where our only interaction had been type-written words?  And that’s when the lightbulb lit up.   I’ve read his words — not only about gardening, but about his life and all that he does.  He’s in Kansas and I’m in New York — but once we learn so much about each other in this personal-but-impersonal blogosphere, doesn’t that make us neighbors of a sort?   As gardeners, as bloggers, as people — aren’t we members of a community?

I too called the number on his blog, but it was out of service, just like TLLG indicated.  Next stop, Google.  I managed to find another number.   

“Hello,” I said.  “I’m hoping you can help me.  I’m calling from New York, and I’m trying to reach someone named Patrick. . . His last name?  No, I don’t know a last name, but he gardens and he’s a blogger.”  For a moment, I think I sounded a bit looney.  For another moment, I worried that I was completely overstepping some sort of boundary of appropriateness.

Within a few moments, I was connected to the man behind Patrick’s Garden.  The truth is, he’s doing fine — but some technical issues kept him from his blog.  And as for my believing I was out of bounds, nothing could have been further from the truth.  Patrick was impressed/flattered that a stranger had checked on him — but once we have read about each other, are we truly strangers?

It was a great conversation.   Suddenly, we were real.  We were the voices behind the typed words, talking about the weather and gardening and garden centers and gardening pet peeves — you know, shop talk.  Gardener to gardener.  Blogger to blogger. 

Neighbor to neighbor.