“For a long time now I have tried to simply write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.” (Ernest Hemingway)

One of the first blogs I ever wrote was titled, “The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” The author of this great quote was a man named Nelson Henderson. Last Friday, Nelson Henderson’s grandson, Jason Henderson, contacted me through WordPress. He had been online looking for information about the famous quote and found my blog by chance. It turns out that his grandfather was a farmer in Manitoba, Canada and his son, Jason’s father, wrote a book about growing up on the farm and that’s where the quote got started towards its famous destiny.

The part I found even more amazing is how much my life experience runs parallel to the Henderson family. My grandfather, Guy McClintick, sounds a lot like Nelson Henderson; practical, hard-working, generous and productive. These are men from a different era when the days just weren’t long enough to do all that needed to be done and to leave the world better than they found it. They planted trees so we could have shade. They worked hard so we could have it easy. They shared their wisdom so we could learn from their mistakes. They left legacies that serve as inspiration to many. Nelson Henderson even left a quote that brought two strangers together a hundred years later.

Now I think I know what Hemingway was talking about. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can and this post, https://grhgraph.wordpress.com/2009/08/21/the-true-meaning-of-life-is-to-plant-trees-under-whose-shade-you-do-not-expect-to-sit-nelson-henderson/ was one of those times.  Maybe words are like trees, we plant them now and future generations harvest them. I’m here each day trying to communicate thoughts that might make a difference for someone a hundred years from now. That is an incredible revelation for me. I can’t begin to explain how happy I was to hear from Jason Henderson. He could have just moved on with his life but instead he took the time to share his joy with me.

If I had one wish for my writing career it would be that. If something I wrote helped you find new meaning in your life, I would like to share that with you. You might even surprise yourself and write better than you thought you could. Communication only happens when two people make it happen and lord knows we need all the communication we can get right now. If it happens that you live somewhere close to Kansas City, I would even be willing to meet up under some big shade tree and have a real conversation about what really matters. Sometimes I have good luck and I talk better than I can.

©Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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8 Responses to “For a long time now I have tried to simply write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.” (Ernest Hemingway)

  1. Kelly says:

    I think you’ve already made a difference with your words. Sometimes the written word is mightier than the spoken word. I know I have been only reading your blog for a short time, but I look forward to reading your new posts. Today, this post has helped me make a decision about the future that I have been pondering for the last couple of months. Please continue to write I know so many other people can learn and grow from your wisdom… Kelly

    • grhgraph says:

      I promise to keep writing. If it makes a difference that’s great too but mostly I write because I don’t talk much. I hope your decision brings you nothing but happiness. Thanks for commenting.

  2. gwenna says:

    You are a man of your word…get it? 😉

  3. I’m replying on the day of the World Climate March, in the lead up to the 2015 COP meeting in Paris. It’s serendipitous that I’m also finding your post – a truly moving expression of why I work so hard to be in environmental policy and science communication. I want to plant trees – physical and metaphorical – and to read writing like this reminds me that it’s worth it and important.

    Thank you for writing about this story, and keeping me inspired. It means so much. It helps me keep on trying to ‘plant the trees’. I shared this blog on twitter: https://twitter.com/mis_jp/status/670391334465724416

    • grhgraph says:

      You are too kind. I am truly grateful for your thanks. This post is one of my favorites, mainly because I was so close with my grandfather. It’s nice to know there are still wonderful people out there who care about the planet and the future of mankind. Keep planting trees and I will keep writing about it. May God bless your work.

  4. Jason Henderson says:

    Hello Guy. I’ve been remiss to check in with you for a while. I hope you are well.
    So,, Is it coincidence that Jenna found this blog, literally 1 month after I finished reading “The Old Man and the Sea” for the first time.
    My daughter of 12 (Jenna) was googling her great-grandfather (Nelson) and came across your mention of him again. She’s doing a remembrance day presentation at her school on Friday and was searching him up. He fought in the latter part of WW1. I’m going to sign up on your blog to stay in touch. Thank you again for mention of Nelson and his quote. It’s warming to know he had such great impact. For the record, I need to give my uncle Wes Henderson credit as it was he, not my father Bruce who wrote the book and planted that seed. Wes’ book was a small self published book that never sold much beyond family and friends and never held large expectations. It was a warm story about a farmer. 30 years later, who could imagine the book’s name itself would become the story.
    Please keep writing. It takes us places we never expect to see and connects us with people we would never otherwise meet.

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