One morning last summer, I sat at my desk listening to an oriole sing its heart out and I became aware of just how much “in the moment” that bird was. Its entire being was dedicated to that single song.
There was magic in that music.
And there is magic in my garden. I feel it when I take time in the garden to listen and look – really look – at the plants and the life in them.
But this morning as I sit at my desk I’m struggling to find the magic in the Internet to match this real world or even the magic in a good print garden book.
Reading Versus The Internet
When I sit and read a book, I spend time with the words and I marvel at the images created by both the words and photographs. Five hundred words takes me 5-10 minutes to read and a few more to absorb and reread. If I really want to remember the content, I make notes. It isn’t a fast process but I learn. (Note: I can read ever so much faster than that when I’m reading fiction or poor non-fiction.)
On my website, the average reader absorbs the headlines and takes less than a minute to “read” 500 words. Graphics, headlines, videos, images – all are inserted in an attempt to slow down or present another avenue to learn so the visitor can absorb the data.
I’ve spent over 40 years of my life sharing garden information and even with the wealth of technology, there are days (like today as I’m writing) when I wonder if it makes sense or am I really helping people learn how to garden better.
The progression over the past twenty years resembles this:
- books to
- long articles, to
- 400-word posts, to
- images, to
- videos, to
- reading only the headlines.
It’s a simplification of course, but it’s clearly a dumbing-down of information.
Oh, Oh, Feeling Old Fashioned Here
Damn, but I’m feeling a touch old-fashioned. In my mind, I’m one of those grumpy, old head gardeners tottering around his garden harrumphing at a modern world over the back fence.
This has been on my mind this spring and I sense my next mid-life gardening crisis emerging from the shadows.
Thanks for reading