Thursday, January 10, 2008

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Greetings, and welcome to my blog!

I have to admit, I have been hesitant to join the blogging world. Along with the busyness of mothering five children and the writing I sneak in during naptime, between laundry loads and in the wee hours on assignment, another commitment didn't make sense. Yet here I am, and happily so at long last. A recent opportunity to write a parenting column for my local newspaper, The Forum of Fargo Moorhead, has prompted me to create a space for a parenting-oriented blog. My hope is that my words here might provide the same kind of inspiration I strive to offer readers through my regular column, which will appear every fifth Tuesday starting January 1. How might this blog differ? I imagine my meanderings here will be more loosely written, more akin to a journal than an edited article, but hopefully still worth the time spent stopping by.

I've named my blog "Peace Garden Mama." Those who know my household well likely will wonder about this choice. Our brood is often anything but peaceful, it's true, but I love flowers and gardens, and I think of my five children as perennials that I've helped plant, and that I water, feed and prune in various ways, both literally and figuratively, each day. And while my garden is more boisterous than serene (and in frequent need of weeding), nevertheless it is full of color and variety. Having this familial garden has taught me that as the co-master gardener, I, too, require maintenance and, yes, pruning from time to time. My flowers, as it were, teach me as much (if not a great amount more) about how to keep a garden growing as I teach them. The name also refers to my children's book, P is for Peace Garden: A North Dakota Alphabet, a book that was a particular pleasure to write as it brought me more fully back to my own roots, to the history of the place where my parents sprouted up from the land before starting their own small garden in another plot a state away (Montana).

Ah, the metaphors that are possible with this gardening image. And yet, here I am in Fargo, North Dakota, on a frigid night, warmed only by the mug of Godiva cocoa beside me at this coffee shop where I have come to find solace and, yes, peace from an exhausting day with the kids. As we North Dakotans move through this period of hibernation, we might seem a little quieter, a little more subdued. But, in fact, we are plunging ourselves into winter with a purpose: to emerge from the frozen earth and into the spring thaw, more aware of who we are, more vital than before. This time of slower movement is, in fact, not without purpose.

Winter parenting, though fraught with chilly moments, can also be a cozy time of reigning in our little ones in a way that is not possible during the haphazardness of spring. For those weary of winter parenting, hold fast. As sure as the snow came, so will the spring with all of its brightness and possibility. Our flowers will once again dance and play as they lather themselves in dirt and water and bubbles and laughter.

To everything there is a season, it is true. May this particular season of your gardening be full of the quiet yet purposeful moments that will help prepare the roots of your little ones for the thaw. It is a special time of much learning, reflection and growth. I look forward to spending some of the more reflective moments with you in this New Year of 2008. Please stop by anytime to share your thoughts on parenting and related topics.


Mary said...

Dear Roxane,
I love the gardening image. I'm looking out over my frozen lake this morning and thinking of your fish story. Where is it? I think it needs to float out there again, a seed on the wind, and find a place to be planted (published).

A lone fish house sits out there like one big chocolate chunk on a sugar cookie...

Your writing buddy,
M. Aalgaard

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Mary, dear friend! There is something strange going on, and you are part of it. This morning while working out at the Y I began thinking about the fish house story and it would not leave my mind. I thought of our challenge, and decided it was time to get to work circulating that story. Then I came home to find a note from my dear mom-in-law suggesting the same. You don't suppose dear little Eric is trying to come out of confinement? The signs are all pointing to my negligence. The challenge resumes. Thanks so much. And yes, I noticed, MA. :) Good for you!


Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle said...


I LOVE your blog! Welcome to the blogging world! Your gardening theme is so gorgeous and your photo is beautiful, too!

You're going to love blogging - getting your messages out there.

God bless,

Lisa Moser said...

Dear Roxane,
I love to read your writing! Congratulations on your newest adventure. May your stories bloom and spread joy to all who see them.

Lisa Moser

shari said...

It's beautiful and informational,is there anything you don't do well?Opal wanted to make sure I said Hi from her too,she sure enjoys her copies of your books.
Friends always,

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Lisa, I'm so happy to find you here. I consider your words a true compliment. I am thinking of you this week. :)

Shari, you too, and yes, there are plenty of things I can improve upon. :) For one, I don't cook nearly as well as you. Thanks so much for stopping by, and please, do tell Opal hello and that I'd love to come see her again sometime in the future.

Ah, the kids are in bed. Time to write! :)


Welcome the blogosphere my friend- mines feeling neglected but who has the time what with self employment, shutting to choir, piano, dance (twice),play practices, bb gun practice-but ah Motherhood we do it well but the looks of your children and mine! And so it is that I love the them of this here bloggy whirl and I will try to find the ME time to stop on by--and meet ya at the jacuzzi at the Y now and again! It is my new respite as well as you know!!! XXOOO Jill


PS who has the time to spell check either apparently! HA! RUSH RUSH RUSH----nighty night. J

Roxane B. Salonen said...


I just found your comments. Forgot to check "back posts." Also, saw your profile. Thank you kindly for listing me on your fav books. :)

Yes, the jacuzzi it is, someday soon. Sounds good.

Bev said...

Trying Again Roxane. Mom #2

Bev said...

I blogged you this morning and was confident it would appear - but to my disappointment - it did not. Just tried again and there it was. I am finally accepted into your world of blogging. What an accomplishment. Love your entries. Keep up the good work. Your faithful and constant admirer.
Mom #2