One of my mother's favourite wise sayings when I was growing up was 'you get out of life what you put into it' - usually quoted to me in a warning tone when she believed that I was failing to apply myself to something with the required degree of effort.
As I go through life, sometimes her words come back to me and I see them in a different context. Often, the fruits of ones labours are clear. If you take the time and trouble to raise chickens, you can expect to be rewarded with eggs (though beautiful coloured shells might still be an unexpected treat).
But sometimes the link between effort and benefit is not as clear cut.
And so it is with blogging. When I began sharing my thoughts in cyber space seven years ago, I had few expectations - it was merely a passtime, to exercise my mind in days largely consumed by domestic and maternal duties. I hadn't the faintest idea that the investment of my time would be so richly rewarded by friendship.