Sometime in the year 1917, Mr. and Mrs. William Bowers Bourn II moved into an American country estate called Filoli. The majestic main house was built on 16 acres (on a 654-acre estate) in San Mateo, California. The property’s notable features include expansive sunken gardens, fruit orchards, winding trails, and meticulously landscaped views.
This past weekend, 102 years after Mr. and Mrs. Bourn first took possession of the house, I visited Filoli to walk the gardens. The property has been surprisingly well-maintained over the last century thanks to the dedication of countless people, and I found myself stunned at the natural beauty and eden-like serenity of the estate, despite it being only a handful of miles south of chaotic San Francisco.
While walking, I noted that wandering the grounds of old castles is a common attraction in Europe, but in America, given its relatively short history, public estates like Filoli are a rare treasure well worth exploring.
The crown jewel of my observations today, and what I want to share with you, is the miracle of planting seeds for the future. I doubt that Mr. and Mrs. Bourn would have guessed over a hundred years after they first moved in, the public would be wandering around their former backyard admiring their roses and dutch gardens.
Planting seeds today so that others may eat the fruits of the future is both literally and metaphorically beautiful. As hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets to protest for action on climate change or transparent governments, I’m encouraged to think about what else I can be doing today to serve generations to come.
My hope is that these blogs and emails will have a useful purpose unbeknownst to me someday. Until then, I enjoy planting little seeds of wisdom whenever and wherever I can.
Fight for a just cause. Love your fellow man. Live a good life.
- William Bourn II