Ray Bradbury, who never attended college, described himself as “completely library-educated.” That was one of his two preferred explanation for how he became a writer. “ I discovered me in the library. I went to find me in the library.” Ray Bradbury was best known as a sci-fi titan but in “my book” he is known and loved for one of the most glorious passages found in literature. This passage comes from his classic novel, Fahrenheit 451.
“Every one must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way, so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there. It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”