Saturday, August 29, 2015
The trees you plant
I really like this quote by Nelson Henderson. I combined it with a photo I took of a very nice cottonwood on my favorite acequia trail in the north valley. I was curious about Nelson and discovered he was a Canadian, living from 1928 until 2003. He served as the manager of the Agricultural Institute of Canada, doing numerous good works. Apparently he was known in his family for this quote and his family has carried on his legacy.
I've planted well over 100 trees in my life. Just sitting here on my front porch I can count 8 trees I planted. As I plant a tree I often think I will probably not see the tree into maturity because we live in a mobile society and I do not generally stay put for long. For the first time today I had the thought that probably some of the trees I've planted will outlive me.
I'm not sure why I've never thought this before. Here I am in this particular phase of life thinking about legacy. I have no children. Nelson had 8 children. I have trees and art work and students I've mentored. What will outlive me? What will the ripples of this life be beyond my own years?
I listened to an interview recently with Simone Campbell- the nun who started the Nuns on the Bus tour to address health care and the wealth gap and other social issues. She spoke about how we can get overwhelmed at the immensity of the social issues we face and how that can be paralyzing for people. She emphasizes we live in community. We don't have to do it all. We just have to listen- to the stories we hear and the inner nudges we receive, and then just do our part. We don't know the effect our part may have. I at least know I will provide shade for the future.