The First Question: Why One Year of Writing and Healing?
I had for some time been mulling over a way to explore the possibilities in writing and healing. Then I happened across a book, Fern House: A Year in an Artist’s Garden. That whole notion—the cycle of one year in a garden—it called to me. The book is by Deborah Schenck, an artist from England, who, several years back, moved into a nineteenth-century house called Fern House in a small town in Vermont and began to transform the land around her house into a garden. Her book—mostly photographs and drawings—lovely photographs and drawings—records the first year of that transformation.
She begins in winter. A wrought iron bench set against a snowy hillside. The silvery bark of birches. Maple sugaring. Then spring. Apple blossoms. Fiddlehead ferns. Hyacinth. Then summer. Pink roses. Hydrangea. Nasturtiums. That first summer they built a pond and bought one hundred goldfish to put in the pond. She made jam. She put in an herb garden. Then the frost came—autumn. Cider pressing. Pumpkins. Thistle. Then winter.
A year, it would seem, is long enough for something to happen.
One Year of Writing and Healing begins in August and moves through the year until July. But a person could if they like begin the year at any month.