My indoor garden center

One of my outdoor passions is gardening, and this hobby has a large presence in the beginning and ending of my autobiography. Below I share some of my whimsical thoughts on planting, growing, and harvesting — so good for the soul and great exercise too!

Decompression is a must for my health, and it’s refreshing to spend time in my garden. Growing flowers and vegetables was nearly more than a hobby — it became a short-lived business after I stepped down as MedAire CEO. I was so geared toward entrepreneurialism and startups that “gardening as a business” made sense. But it occurred to me that not everything has to be an enterprise. Not everything is attached to a profit and loss statement. With semi-retirement came some “unlearning” and letting go of my corporate instincts, which has been enriching.

Sometimes it’s just fine to stop and smell the roses, bask in nature and the rich soil, and give away what I don’t need.

My friends and family are now recipients of non-GMO, organic, and pollutant-free fruits and vegetables that grow in abundance, including garlic and potatoes. There’s a significance to those potatoes as well, considering I’m Irish. This endeavor continues today — cultivate, harvest and share.

I wish I could take readers along for a walk outside the garden and into the forest to breathe the scented air, woodsy and aromatic. It’s indescribable, really, to be shielded under canopies of branches, with the bluest skies peeping above and a filter of sunlight warming my shoulders. It has to be experienced to be truly understood, this majestic and pristine slice of ecological heaven. A forager could live off the land if he or she knew the food sources. Picking the edible versions of wild mushrooms, for instance, and knowing they’ll end up on the supper table makes these treks more of a treasure hunt.

Our ancestors knew where other treasures grew, the medicinal plants that saved lives in a distant past. The nurse in me wants to understand these remedies too, and now I have the rest of my life to explore Mother Nature’s mysterious, inexplicable capacity to heal.