It seems appropriate to end the year the way it started, with an image of Luc, the one who’s most responsible for all this sheep stuff I’ve gotten myself into. We went for a long walk in our woods this morning, a luxury for both the pups and me, gifted to us by temperatures too cold for work with machinery. His gaze here is fixed on Cass; with the snow cover, the two have rediscovered the stalk-and-ambush games they played constantly when Cass was a pup. I’m very curious to see who takes primary responsibility for initiating the new pup into the world of border collie games.
Three hundred sixty-five days ago I set out to post stories and photos from the farm every day for a year. The challenge was appealing in an abstract sense — could I muster the discipline to follow though? — and in an artistic sense, since I had barely touched a camera since moving here. I wanted to create a portal for friends to keep up with my mad undertaking, even if they couldn’t come and visit. And I had a fuzzy hope that the accumulated weight of 365 daily stories might amount to something more substantial than simply jottings in a day planner. I seem to have answers to the first two questions: I made it through the year, though I doubted it many times, and in the course of making 15,000 or so images, I’ve learned and evolved as a photographer. Many readers of the blog have told me about how it became part of their daily routines as well, and this news kept me going through periods when I had exhausted every possible idea, days when I thought I was too tired to remember my name, much less edit photos and write something coherent.
I confess that I often counted how many days remained until 31 December, and now that we’re here, I plan to pause for a bit. The creatures in my life have been very patient with the hour-and-a-half I spent feeding the blog monster every day, but I’ve accrued a debt of time and attention that I need to start paying back. And I’m hoping that a bit of distance will let me see this document of the past year more clearly, to figure out what lessons I can glean, and whether it may have some continued life in another form. I don’t plan to abandon the blog, but I will be writing less frequently, when I actually have something to say. I’m very grateful to those who have stuck with me through the year, and I hope I can keep your interest going forward. Thank you, and happy new year.