If someone asked you today to define the word ‘legacy’ and what it means, you may spew off a text book definition or somewhere in between. One example that I might use is Greg heading to UMass Amherst this morning to do one of his favorite things - speaking to the landscape architectural students where he once studied and graduated some years ago. You could say it’s a bit like building or leaving a legacy.
So why title this blog post, ‘A Preview of what’s to come’? Well, for a couple of reasons. On December 22nd of this year, we will commemorate the 100th anniversary of Lady Bird Johnson’s birth. Her love for wildflowers and nature started at a young age but didn’t stop there. As First Lady, this early love of the outdoors and all its beauty came to blossom again. Rather than see interstates and highways filled with signs and trash during a tumultuous time in the country, she hoped to see native wildflowers blossoming instead. Rather than dream but do, with her husband, she passed the Highway Beautification Act in 1965. This lifelong passion became and still is her legacy today.
But here’s one more reason for the title of this post. Keep an eye out for an upcoming review and free giveaway of the book, MISS LADY BIRD'S WILDFLOWERS: HOW A FIRST LADY CHANGED AMERICA. Sounds like a perfect gift for under the tree. Or maybe you’re involved in a local children’s charity or organization. What better gift to give a child this holiday season than the same gift that inspired Lady Bird when she moved from Texas to Washington DC. When you see so few natural spaces for children to enjoy, create one or in the case of this book, give one away.
So on that note, this Ray Bradbury quote seems the picture-perfect way to end today’s post. It’s a preview of what’s to come.
“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there.
It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
In case you can’t wait for the review or the giveaway, here’s the title and the information for the book. MISS LADY BIRD'S WILDFLOWERS: HOW A FIRST LADY CHANGED AMERICA (HarperCollins, 2005) by award-winning author Kathi Appelt, illustrated by certified Texas Master Naturalist Joy Fisher Hein.
Image by Greg Bilowz of one of my favorite wildflowers - Lupines in the meadow
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