Walt Disney, bless his animated heart, had no idea how prophetic he was. When watching some of the earlier Disney classics, like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty or Song of the South, you can’t help but notice how all the major characters have a deep affinity with the natural world. Aurora sings and dances with the animals while smelling all the beautiful flowers she is surrounded by. Bambi – well, enough said. Sing Zipp-a-dee-doo-dah, without envisioning birds and flowers, I dare you.
In this day and age, (oh my, and I promised myself I would not fill this article with hackneyed phrases), with terrorism a constant on TV; violence and gore in the movie theaters; and apathy and isolationism within our neighborhoods, it is so tempting to just play ostrich and pretend it doesn’t mean anything. Many of us escaped into our gardens and let the world go by. Then an Internet gardening site was created. No big deal…. there are dozens of them. Little by little it grew. There was no fan-fare, no trumpets, and no politicians touting its significance to the world at large. It grew.
The vocation/avocation of many people to play in the dirt, to watch flowers grow, to enjoy the fruits and vegetables of our own labors, to enliven our residences with the bountiful beauty of nature, has led to a search for like minded individuals. We ask each other questions, share successes and failures, help the neophyte, pass along the wisdom of our forebears…in other words, we communicate. It grew.
These gardeners discovered that they had similar problems/interests beyond the garden. They had parenting issues, and dilemmas about what to serve for dinner. They enjoyed some of the same books, movies and TV shows. Their tragedies were sympathized with and eased by the concern and empathy of others…and it grew.
Suddenly, yet quietly, a balcony gardener in New Jersey was sharing information with a farmer in New Zealand. A flower expert in Japan was sharing her beautiful arrangements with a doctor/cactus grower in New Mexico. Jokes were exchanged between a Nederlander and a San Franciscan. Computer instructions were passed between Texas and the Pacific Islands. And it grew.
We have 310,964 members from 200 countries. There are five times more people in DG than in the entire country that I live in! That is a lot of people communicating.
Now, when we Dgers watch the news, we connect. We know people there! When a hurricane or tsunami hits somewhere, those are our friends! We want to help! When rain finally falls on an area that had been suffering from severe drought we celebrate right along with them! A war in an unknown country, between unknown combatants is one thing, but a conflict in a country that has the same trees, and plants and climate as our own? Where we know that they are just as frustrated as we are about mealy bugs, or the yucky taste of the tomatoes in the store? We were just talking to folks from there! They were nice folks. Is it really so very far-fetched that literally through grass roots, we eventually get earth and people friendly politicians in place?
Mr. Disney was always in favor of happy endings. People always lived "happily ever after". We all enjoy the natural world as much as Aurora, Snow White and Bambi. Perhaps… just maybe…all the wonderful information, friendships, humor, angst and joy shared on Dave’s Garden from members all over the world will promote oh, I don’t know if I could go so far as to say "world peace", but I sure think it’s a lovely idea. And somehow, on this site…ideas tend to grow.