There are mile stones in life and becoming an official senior citizen is one. it makes me reflect on life, friends and the future.
I am fortunate to have a bit of stability from having a good Union job for 30 years. The more important stability comes from friends many who come from the horticultural world. Plants seem to bring people together in ways that may not happen otherwise. It doesn’t matter what your politics, religion, economic situation or nationality are. If you are interested in plants you can be a geek and use Latin names and cross all kinds of borders.
I’ve had the opportunity to travel a lot because of work and organizations I have volunteered for. In these travels it is plants that we have in common both my fellow travelers and the people in the areas we go to. Plants are merely an ice breaker to start conversations that usually go beyond the plant world. I make friends with people all over and some become good friends and some of those friendships last.
I’ve also had the opportunity to organize horticultural lectures and invite people from all over the world to come here. The process is pretty much the same as traveling. You start talking about plants and the conversations grow. I’m not saying I like everyone in the Hort world that I meet but having a common interest helps.
I also have Old Goat Farm that I love to share with people. You don’t really have to be a Hort head to appreciate the garden and the animals. A screaming peacock is definitely an ice breaker, ‘Doesn’t that noise bother you?’
I’ve had the opportunity the last few weeks to host the guide I had in Cuba 3 years ago. We’ve become better friends and I’ve learned so much more from him. He also paid Old Goat Farm one of the best and probably the most unusual compliments. We were walking in the garden shortly after he arrived and he was so glad to be here and the light in the garden was particularly stunning, he stated, ‘This garden makes my skin crawl’. He meant it gave him goose bumps but that definitely made me stop and think then laugh.
For the future I only want to keep doing what I’m doing, traveling, gardening and sharing with people. If you find yourself around Old Goat Farm stop and visit but be warned it may make your skin crawl.