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Report From PIA – April 29

Are the connections we make with other people what makes our work meaningful? Are the ways our gardens allow us to touch each other significant?

I was at a speakers’ forum today and friend and fellow speaker Rich Pomerantz said that as he sat at his table someone from he’d met in the past approached him.

It turns out that he used this woman and her mother as subjects to demonstrate portrait photography at a workshop he was teaching some years ago. Today the woman told him that a few months after he shot the picture her mother died, and that the photograph he took on the spur of the moment ended up being so important to her and her sister.

“This is why I do what I do,” Rich said to me, after relating this story.

Driving home, I thought about how Rich is onto something here. When I speak or host GardenLine, I reflected, it might just be about assisting someone to grow an organic lawn or plant the right perennial. These interactions are pleasant enough, and I’m pleased I can help. Occasionally, however, a reader or listener will let me know that I’ve supported them in ways far more important than the health of their landscape. When it’s about plants and our whole lives, that’s when it’s most satisfying.

Sometimes the work we do is interesting, other times it’s challenging or grueling, and often it’s just work. But when that work links us in fundamental, human ways, that’s when we’re truly blessed. When we can touch each other’s hearts, we know why we do the work we do.

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