I often start a seemingly legitimate search on Google in the spirit of actual research. Then, after a few minutes, I find myself hovering over an obscure yet interesting tidbit of information. In one of my recent jaunts on the information highway, I came across the story of Ephraim Wales Bull the farmer who developed the Concord grape. Perhaps you are familiar with the story of Ephraim Wales Bull but I had never heard of him.
What makes Ephraim’s story so meaningful to me is that he worked persistently and with dedication to develop a strain of grapes that could thrive in the cold climate of Massachusetts. Ten long years from conception to market. But that’s not the best part of Ephraim’s legacy.
Ephraim Wales Bull (March 4, 1806 – September 26, 1895) was the creator of the Concord grape.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Bull was apprenticed to a gold-beater at a young age. He moved to Concord in 1836, settling with his wife on a farm next door to Amos Bronson Alcott.
In 1843, Bull began the deliberate process of breeding a grape that could thrive in the cold New England climate. By 1849, having planted 22,000 seedlings, he had created a large, sweet variety from a native species. By 1853, the grapes were for sale, but within several years, competing growers had begun raising their own crops of Concord grapes, purchased from Bull for $5 per vine. Bull saw little profit from the strain after the initial sales.
Ephraim Bull was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1855. In 1893, after a fall, he ended up in the Concord Home for the Aged. He died in 1895. His epitaph reads, “He Sowed Others Reaped.”
According to Merriam Webster a LEGACY is “a gift by will especially of money or other personal property or a bequest something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past”. Ephraim’s story got me thinking about my own legacy.
What will be left to show for my efforts while I was on this planet?
Honestly, my first reaction was, not much of a “Legacy”. I’m not Mozart or Einstein. No one will be celebrating my birthday 200 or even 100 years after my death. I’m only really known to my family and my small circle of friends, maybe some co-workers. What real contribution have I made that’s so worthy of remembering.
Thankfully I have progeny, two daughters and a son. I also have a history, not grand on a scale of all time, my history all the same. Two ex-husbands and a few glorious amorous adventures, nothing worthy of D.H. Lawrence. I was the first woman in my family to graduate from college. I taught myself and my children to cook have an appreciation for our community, our environment, and each other. I love to celebrate and have a festive nature which I have passed on to friends, family and co-workers.
All that being said, I think I have come to realize my best legacy is living well and fully while I am here. By participating in my community, being of service to others and ultimately being responsible for my own happiness and wellness, I am still learning that my life needs to be lived for me. My legacy building is still in progress. There’s a lot left to do and no time to waste.
If you want to explore more and give more thought to building YOUR legacy?
Here’s a great place to start – the sage Brendon Burchard challenges us to ask ourselves these three key questions:
“Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter?”
For more insights, guidance, and resources on living your legacy now check out Brendon Burchard at: http://brendonburchard.com/