When we have reached a point where our own kind is steadily destroying the rest of life on earth and some of us are anxious not to do that, our relation to the earth begins to be that of a gardener to a garden.W.S. MERWIn, from his essay “THE SHAPE OF WATER”
When W.S. Merwin died in March 2019, he left behind a legacy of boundless imagination, insight, and literary genius. He wrote over thirty books of poetry and prose, won two Pulitzer Prizes, the National Book Award, and was appointed U.S. Poet Laureate under President Barack Obama.
William, together with his wife Paula, also left a second gift: the exuberant, ever-evolving palm forest and home they created together and lived in on Maui for over forty years.
In January 2020, The Merwin Conservancy, a non-profit the couple founded together, became permanent custodians of this extraordinary place and its clear, unequivocal message of environmental renewal, possibility, and integrity.
GROVE GIVING CIRCLE
In the palm forest, near the garden shed and dojo, potted young palms remained on the shelves of the shade house where William grew them. These were the last unplanted trees in his collection.
With the help of the Grove Giving Circle. we planted the last of these trees in December of 2020. We gathered to plant these palms in a memorial grove at the edge of the forest. Together, we honored William and Paula’s vision to expand and share their beloved garden, and bring needed support to The Merwin Conservancy at this vital moment.