Friday, August 31, 2012

"You Must Do Something To Make The World More Beautiful"....

About 25 years ago I was given a book that I have cherished ever since. It is a children's book written and illustrated by the late Maine author, Barbara Cooney. The name of the book is Miss Rumphius
and the lady who gave the book to me said I reminded her of Miss Rumphius because I planted lovely gardens wherever I went and made the world a more beautiful place because of it.

I was so honored to be thought of in this way and even more honored when I personally got to visit Barbara Cooney in her studio a few years later, before she passed away.

I once lived in a sweet little cottage on a stunning, old estate here in Maine. I loved living there and every morning and evening I found myself walking through the woods hunting for mushrooms or studying ferns and mosses. In early June my little cottage became surrounded by
 lupine and its delicious, spicy fragrance filled the air. I collected the seeds every year and just like Miss Rumphius, I would scatter them wherever I went. 

The touching story of Miss Rumphius tells about a little girl named Alice who has big dreams of travel and adventure. She is told by her grandfather that it is fine to do all these things but that she must also 
do one more thing in her life... 
"You must do something to make the world more beautiful"
A wonderful message that I have never forgotten and have pledged to do each day of my life. 

This is the little cottage I lived in on the big estate

I tell you all this because yesterday, Michael brought me a gift of lupine seed! His mother had saved all the seeds from her own lupine plants and sent them along with Michael to give to me. I don't think I could have received a nicer gift! I was so excited to have them because I wanted to fill the new meadow with lots and lots of lupine. 

The seed pods look just like little, baby mice. Their shells are soft and furry on the outside but when cracked open reveal the tiny, brown seeds inside.

This is just a sampling of the thousands of seeds Judy gave me

I quickly grabbed the bag of lupine seeds and set out to the meadow area closest to the new cottage. 
We already have some lupine plants that I found growing in a small patch on the west side of the cottage but this new bunch of seeds is enough to fill at least one acre of the north side meadow. 

This is the part of the meadow where I planted the new lupine seed. Can you imagine what it will look like in a few years? I don't think we will have any blooms this spring but next spring it will be stunning.
 I can hardly wait!

Just like Miss Rumphius and Barbara Cooney, 
let's make a promise to scatter beauty and goodness wherever we go!

"You must do something to make the world more beautiful"

In honor of Barbara Cooney, who did make the world more beautiful.
August 6, 1917 – March 10, 2000  

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