Keep Calm And Kerri On: “Seeds”
Published: October 25th, 2021
By: Sun Columnist Kerri Green

Keep Calm and Kerri On: “Seeds”

Dear Friends,

I’ve never really been into gardening. It’s not my thing. I just don’t have the patience for it.

In the front of my house, there is a really nice flower bed. Many years ago, my friends encouraged me to try my hand at gardening. They said it would be relaxing, fun and a nice way to spend some time outside. They helped me design what it would look like, we went shopping for plants and supplies. Skeptically, and under their guidance, I planted my first very first garden.

That was nearly fourteen years ago and I haven’t done it again since.

I don’t know what it is. I just don’t take joy in weeding, watering, and tending a garden!

Flowers are pretty but I don’t have the time, or rather I choose not to take the time, to make my garden beautiful each year. I am the reason that landscapers exist!

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We did plant some flowers that come back each year, so in the spring I get a beautiful surprise when they bloom. Is that a perennial or an annual – I can’t keep it straight.

However, I do have an appreciation for those who take the time and are good gardeners. The people who can name a plant on sight and who can spend hours in the dirt to create beauty out of nothing. I find that amazing and I wish I enjoyed it but I can’t make it work for me.

This past weekend I took a trip to Broadwy to see “Hamilton” for the first time.

It was the most amazing show I have ever seen! I can’t stress this statement enough. Hands down, a true masterpiece and it left me wanting to see it again. It was funny, mesmerizing, exciting and sad … I cried twice.

The story of Alexander Hamilton and those around him is one I am familiar with. A couple of years ago I read “My Dear Hamilton”, which is his story but through the eyes of his wife, Eliza Schuyler Hamilton. If you haven’t read it and you enjoy historical fiction, you definitely need to read this book!

What amazed me most about the story was I never realized how instrumental Alexander Hamilton was in our country’s history, and how instrumental his ideas and actions during and after the revolution helped shape who we are.

When you talk about the mastermind of the United States of America, it’s him. The “Father” of our nation? It’s Hamilton. He was the man behind the men that made the decisions. We could talk about the women who were behind this as well, especially Eliza, but that is a whole different topic of how women weren’t written into history or represented as they should be. But I’ll save that for another time!

Unfortunately, Hamilton was not universally liked or even appreciated as he should have been. Partly because of his relationship with George Washington and his social status and family name, which meant more back then than it does now. No, his role and what is written about him has been reduced to legacy of intrigue, shadowed by his personal mistakes, and hidden away by his enemies. Namely those who were charged with writing and documenting history. Only a few who know the truth were able to accurately depict his role in our history and our birth as a nation.

You can really see how this unfolded in “Hamilton”, as narrated by Alexander Hamilton’s number lifelong nemesis (what we today would call a “frenemy”) and eventual murderer, Aaron Burr.

Consistently throughout the show you see how Burr felt the shadow that Hamilton cast through is work, actions and his jealousy that he was able to rise up and have the ear of powerful men like George Washington and even Thomas Jefferson, who was no friend of Hamilton’s, but they did come together on occasion.

In the show Burr repeatedly alludes to the fact that Hamilton came from nothing, was an immigrant, had no wealth or name, yet he continually rose to the top, had a solid position in government and kept thwarting Burr’s political aspirations (or at least that’s how Burr saw it). Burr let Hamilton get under his skin and every time Hamilton succeeded, Burr took it as a personal afront.

Ultimately, Burr challenges Hamilton to a duel and while Hamilton throws away his shot in an act of honor, Burr kills Hamilton. He let his hate for this man forever ruin his own reputation, place in society, and his own legacy and name. And for what?

There is a quote in the show from Hamilton that goes like this: “What’s a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.”

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We all can learn from the actions of both Burr and Hamilton.

Hamilton was so worried about his legacy that he went out of his way to try and prove himself worthy of the life he was living. It haunted him and he was paranoid about what his name would mean in history. This ultimately led to a disastrous unveiling about an affair he had, which may have cleared his name as a thief, but forever tarnished his reputation and that of his wife and family.

Likewise, Burr was so blinded by his hate for Hamilton and his ability to shine (despite his lack of money, name and social status) that he kills Hamilton in an illegal duel and forever ruins his own chances politically and socially.

What were both men so worried about? Their pride? Being right? Coming out on top? And no one, except for these two men, really cared. Ultimately, they ruin each other, which is where these things tend to go when jealousy and hate overtake you.

We can take a lesson from the life and relationship of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Only you are responsible for the legacy that you will leave. It’s your actions that will follow you and how you treat people around you that reflect who you are. It doesn’t matter what you think of yourself, it’s how others perceive you that will follow you long after you are gone.

While I will not be remembered for my gardening skills, make sure that whatever it is that you work for, and are passionate about, that you always do it with honor and humility.

The legacy will write itself.

Be well,

Kerri




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