Everyone 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.
Ray Bradbury (August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012) was an American author and screenwriter. He worked in a variety of genres, including fantasy, science fiction, horror, and mystery fiction.
Predominantly known for writing the iconic dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953), and his science-fiction and horror-story collections, The Martian Chronicles (1950), The Illustrated Man (1951), and I Sing the Body Electric (1969), Bradbury was one of the most celebrated 20th- and 21st-century American writers.
While most of his best known work is in fantasy fiction, he also wrote in other genres, such as the coming-of-age novel Dandelion Wine (1957) and the fictionalized memoir Green Shadows, White Whale (1992).
Recipient of numerous awards, including a 2007 Pulitzer Citation, Bradbury also wrote and consulted on screenplays and television scripts, including Moby Dick and It Came from Outer Space. Many of his works were adapted to comic book, television, and film formats.
Upon his death in 2012, The New York Times called Bradbury „the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream“.