Expert garden writer and garden designer, Wayne Winterrowd died of heart failure last week at his home here in Vermont. Besides co-writing 3 gardening books and many articles for Horticulture magazine, he and his spouse, Joe Eck, designed many high-end gardens, including a 1-acre garden for my friend Florence.
Florence lives on a secluded "estate" of a few acres, about 35 minutes from town. She loves people and has, so far this year, attended 2 months of meditation retreats. When she saw Wayne and Joe last year, she told them she was putting her home and garden on the market.
"How could you?" Wayne asked. "Where are you going?"
Florence shrugged. She didn't know where she was going (and still doesn't).
"I know exactly where i'll be a year from now," Wayne said.
The mind really wants to believe that what it thinks is true. But thought is usually just a virtual reality having little to do with the facts of life. Death is one of those facts, one of those certainties. Only the time of death is uncertain.
Florence misses her friend and garden designer deeply. She continues to be haunted by that statement, "I know exactly where i'm going to be a year from now."
In the moment, it seemed that he was right, and she was wrong for not knowing, for wanting to sell her house in the first place. Yet he was not right, and she was not wrong. This is not to say that she was right, nor to say that he was wrong.
The mind wants to divide life into good and bad, right and wrong. But what if, what if there is simply is-ness?
Wayne Winterrowd is dead.
Florence still lives in her beautiful house and garden.