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Buy Read Love

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Midweek reminder: Make the garden grow.

Came home from NY last week to find my backyard full of irises. Today there are two plump red roses on a forgotten bush that haunts a corner by the back fence.

I do absolutely nothing to take care of any plant life back there; these blossoms are a gift that insists on giving. It inspires me every spring, and while I can't promise to become a "yardie" (as Gary and I call our fervently green-thumbed neighbors), I have to wonder -- if a rose (or an idea?) persists in blooming all on its own, imagine what would happen if I actually put my back into it, tended the flowerbeds, fed the soil, and devoted the time and energy it takes to nurture possibility.

My research this week led me to revisit Voltaire's Candide and the Leonard Bernstein music that blossomed from it. The theme is so simple and so true: The purpose of life is to "build our house, chop our wood, and make our garden grow."

Here's the astonishing Renee Fleming and co:

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