What have you done to make the world a more beautiful place?
That simple question from the children’s book “Miss Rumphius” by Barbara Cooney, has a very special meaning for us at Lavender Pond Farm. Perhaps, like me, you read the story to your own children or had the tale read to you as a child. It chronicles the long life of Miss Alice Rumphius, who, despite all her adventures traveling the world, still felt she hadn’t solved the mystery of “why are we here?” Recalling her grandfather’s sage advice to that very question - “to make the world more beautiful,” Alice decides to live the remainder of her life trying to do just that.
Remembering the joy that flowers, especially lupine, always brought her, she decides to share that joy with others by scattering lupine seeds wherever she goes. Soon "the lupine lady" has completely transformed the rocky landscape around her so that everyone could enjoy the simple beauty of the colorful flower. She has finally found fulfillment and solved life’s mystery. The story ends with Miss Rumphius passing the message on to her great-niece so the journey may continue for the next generation.
Looking forward. Honoring the past.
My mother fought a courageous battle with breast cancer. Like many women, she fought the disease with courage, vigor and more than a bit of her own special brand of humor. Despite a double mastectomy, countless hours of chemo and radiation she never lost her sense of purpose or commitment to her family and friends. After living with cancer for more than ten years, she passed away on September 22, 2011.
During her final days, I would often sit and read aloud to her two of our favorite childrens books. “The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf and “Miss Rumphius.” I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend that quality time with her and the words from both stories will always hold a very meaningful place in my heart.
In February of 2014, we were fortunate to acquire the property that is now Lavender Pond Farm. Encompassing nearly 25 glorious acres with beautiful fields, expansive outbuildings and the freshest, fresh water pond we’ve ever seen, it was a dream come true for our family. We knew this was our opportunity to live the words of Miss Rumphius and honor the memory of a very special lady. We broke ground in June of 2014 and with an initial planting of 9000 lavender plants, haven’t looked back.
While not lupine, it is our hope that each lavender plug that we put in the ground is a gentle reminder of the mission of Miss Rumphius. We invite you to share with us in that journey. If we all could be a bit more like Alice and Joyce, the world would no doubt be a more beautiful place.
See you at the farm.