A Simple Reflection For the End of the Year

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 … 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. —Ray Bradbury

I don’t want to add to this other than to encourage you to think about the simplicity of the language, and way the syllables are used.

It seemed like a good way to round up this theme, and say farewell to the old year.

No greetings for the new one until it’s here… it’s a Scottish thing.

Thank to Emily Carmichael aka Captain Stardust for the quote.

Enjoy your night!

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11 Responses to “A Simple Reflection For the End of the Year”

  1. On December 31, 2008 at 8:08 am J.D. Meier responded with... #

    Beautiful quote.

    I used to focus more on the garden, and ask questions like “where to grow my garden” or “which garden to tend” or “what to plant.”

    Life’s not static and nothing’s permanent, so now I lean more towards approach over results. There’s something good about making the most of what you’ve got and touching the lives of others. I also like the idea of having as many good runs as you can, before the sun sets.

    J.D. Meiers last blog post..The Change Frame

  2. On December 31, 2008 at 11:43 am Bo responded with... #

    Mr. Bradbury - a man of simple words, spectacular ideas. Great quote. I love the idea of touching something so your soul has somewhere to go when you die.

    Bos last blog post..A Courtyard Full of Trees

  3. On December 31, 2008 at 11:57 am Brad Shorr responded with... #

    Interesting quote, Joanna, the sensibility of a master craftsman. Bradbury certainly was one.

    Brad Shorrs last blog post..Help Luke Gedeon Hit 100 Comments

  4. On December 31, 2008 at 1:22 pm Karen Swim responded with... #

    Oh Joanna, this is such a beautiful quote and so fitting to end the year. It makes me reflect upon the year with a different perspective and look ahead with a new purpose. I’m so glad Emily shared it and you posted it here. Farewell 2008.

    Karen xo

    Karen Swims last blog post..Blowing in the Wind

  5. On December 31, 2008 at 3:55 pm Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    J.D. Thanks for sharing those wonderful thoughts for the end of the year. As many good runs as you can, before the sun sets. Indeed. Have a wonderful new year when it comes.

    Bo, I’m glad you like the quote. I also find it deeply comforting - both about what matters in my life, and as I think about those who aren’t around anymore. We still feel them, notice them, in the things they have touched.

    Brad, finding Bradbury through all of you has been a wonderful recent addition to my reading collection. This quote speaks to me on so many levels - I find it wonderful that he can express so much with such simple language, and one powerful image.

    Karen, me too. I think I’ll pin it up somewhere so I can keep that focus in mind as we step into the new year.

  6. On January 2, 2009 at 4:37 am wilson responded with... #

    To be honest, it’s definitely a bless to read Joanna’s blog and learn something useful about the writing skill…

    Keep up the great work, Joanna!

    wilsons last blog post..Happy New Year 2009!

  7. On January 2, 2009 at 9:24 am Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Thanks Wilson!

  8. On January 3, 2009 at 9:31 pm Catherine responded with... #

    That’s lovely!

    Catherines last blog post..The 2009 post: details, details

  9. On January 4, 2009 at 9:40 am Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Catherine, hi. Glad you liked the quote.

  10. On January 25, 2009 at 9:41 pm emily carmichael responded with... #

    perfect choice with which to tie up the year, Joanna!

    i’m glad it struck a chord with you as it did with me. thanks for sharing it again. =)

  11. On January 26, 2009 at 11:40 pm Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    emily, it was a wonderful note for the end of the year… and to move intentionally into 2009 :-)


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