September 11, 2011


At least two of the dwarf chestnut oak trees in Andy Goldsworthy’s Garden of Stones, the Museum’s Memorial Garden, produced their first acorns recently.  I discovered them late last week while giving a tour to a visitor.  We had been told that the trees would produce acorns years earlier, and for several autumns, I searched carefully.  After a while, I simply gave up the annual vigil. And then unexpectedly, there they were.

I will confess that the timing could not have been more meaningful.  As we were all gearing up for the tenth anniversary of 9/11, distracted a bit by earthquake and hurricane, nature spoke up and produced these beautiful and tangible tokens of renewal.  Andy’s garden has always been a potent metaphor for the tenacity of life and its ability to take root even in the most unforgiving circumstances.  And now, with the life-cycle of these trees, which grow from stones, ensured, we have new and compelling evidence at just the right moment.