What would you do if you won the lottery and the money took care of all your needs?  What would you do with the excess funds?  Would you leave a legacy for others to enjoy?

“The relation with the world that I want is to be putting life back into the world, rather than taking life out of it.”—W.S. Merwin

U.S.  Poet Laureate and two time Pulitzer winner, W.S.  Merwin decided to grow a forest of palm trees on 19 acres of officially designated wasteland on the north shore Maui, Hawaii. He has gathered palm seeds from various botanical gardens worldwide. 

The forest has been grown sustainably with recycled water, and solar energy. Within this windswept region of microclimates various specimens of palm are thriving including a rare treasured palm from Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean.  Mr. Merwin remarks “I know nothing about Reunion Island, but where a tree grows you have a place.”  Botanists have actually catalogued over 2500 species of palms trees globally.

His love of trees began at a young age, Mr. Merwin remarks, ‘My father was very repressive.  As a child I didn’t trust the feelings of pretty well anyone except my mother.  But I trusted the tree in the backyard.  We were friends.  If I could talk to it, it would talk to me.  But I did not know how”.

“Later in life I was talking to the biologist, E.O. Wilson about that, and he said talking to trees was not silly at all. “The trees gene code is much older than yours,” he said, It’s not withholding anything.  If you know how to talk, it will tell you everything you want.” 

The Mervin Conservancy is his legacy.  Check out the web site and the video as Mr. Merwin takes you on an enchanting tour of the forest.

“In between twenty-five or thirty years I have planted about 850 species of palms, and at least four or five times that many actual trees. I have had no map….We both hope that the whole of this land can eventually become a palm sanctuary. Just being here, with the garden, the `palm forest,’ all around us, day after day, I think has taught me a great deal.” —W.S. Merwin

What will your legacy be?



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