Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Year of Change

This past year, I have taken more risks in my life than ever before. I've tried to do things that you dream about, but would never do. I believe that, if we all followed our dreams, literally, the world would be in a totally different place. This can be a terrifying and daunting challenge, is a terrifying challenge. But the truth is, that we only have one life on this beautiful earth and we would be squandering the most amazing gift if we don't accept it, and go toward fear in an attempt to learn, share,and better ourselves. I have a lot of dreams and hopes. For one dream, I always have found solace and energy from reading amazing authors. One of my favorite authors is the incomparable Dan Hinkley. Dan has the golden touch...he takes the reader with him, sharing all the truths that a hard journey really is. My first correspondence with Dan was after I read an article by him in Horticulture magazine. I had been casually reading the magazine, not paying attention to the headings, just the prose. I was taken deep into the story, and thought to myself how much it felt like his writing. When done, I looked up to find that yes, indeed it was Dan. His style was so distinct-I didn't need the authors printed name to know it was him. I had to smile, and I decided to send him a thank you, via e-mail, for his inspirational work. This was several years ago, and I don't know what trip he was on, but he was exhausted from the journey, at some remote airport, waiting to come home. He responded with thanks and unbelievable grace...a true gentleman. I've never met him in person, I don't need to, because he shares so much in his writings. A dream had formed in my mind, that a collection trip with him, would be a journey of a lifetime. I ruminated on this for a long time, never allowing myself to see if it could actually happen. So yesterday, I took a risk, and contacted him with my epistle. I explained that I knew I wasn't qualified to make such a journey, but had decided to put it out in the world. In typical Dan behavior, he responded immediately to my out- there request. Never discouraging me, but the opposite-recounting his first major collection trip to South Korea, by himself, and the non glamorous school of hard knocks, that the trip was-but he did it, and the rest is history. In my opinion, he is a modern day Chinese Wilson, and we have all gained some of the most garden worthy plants from his gifted eye, formerly through the old Heron's wood nursery.I wish it was still what it was, but things always change, the only thing that does stay the same. I didn't feel let down, because I had at least tried to actualize that dream, and had gained some wonderful insights from a great author and plantsman. I'm taking some big career risks right now, and my plate is more than full, believe me on that one! I feel that this past year, has been the most amazing year for true growth in me. I had always wanted to write, but as we all know, the printed word is becoming rare, and the virtual word is taking it's place. In February, I took another risk, and began this blog, as a tool to learn how to express myself, and share some aspects of my farm and horticultural life. I'm not sure if any of you know that I'm a interior designer, a florist, a garden designer and I produce special events, but my degree is actually in jewelry design. This blog is my private self, what I like to do when I'm not doing all those other jobs. I am a natural designer, it comes easily for me,from a lifetime of exposure to cultures, and most of all from really learning to "SEE", and disseminating what is worthy and beautiful...because there is no right or wrong, but there is educated opinion, but it's still just opinion. I get real energy from the natural world, from putting my hands in to the earth, from observing all the life forms around me, and trying to learn each day. When I was eight years old, I joined the Orchid society, a very intimidating thing for a introverted child. My parents would drop me off for the meetings and pick me back up at a predetermined time. The members were less than encouraging in those days, and after some bad direction from some of the members, I began my own study of the Genus. I found so many amazing books on the subject, I was amazed! I should re join our local chapter, since all the old Gard have passed away. The new generation has an open, encouraging attitude, and I'm sure that the next eight year old little boy to walk in that scary door, will be cared for in a different way-our future plantspeople. The intergeneric Orchid at the top is a symbol of all my combined hopes this year, I'm going to continue to take scary risks, and hopefully, reap the rewards of following positive dreams. I hope all the readers heed my call to take a risk, look toward your fear and make a change in your life, go for what you truly desire-it's worth it, as are you.


  1. You know, I was watching the Emmys last night and someone shared this same philosophy in their acceptance speech (I forget who it was). Anyway, it does make you think.

    That is great to hear that Dan Hinkley responded so warmly to your e-mails. You never know what type of response you will get (if any at all).

    Your writing is very good!

  2. Thanks Philip,you know, every good thing in my life has come from risk, every one. It' a scary world,but heading in to un -charted territories has rewards!...thanks for the compliment too,

  3. Very nice post Brian. A lot of things to think about.

  4. This was a very nice post. Very true and, yes, very scary. Testing oneself builds character.

  5. More power to you, Brian. You deserve the best!