North of Boston, published in 1915, established Robert Frost as a literary presence. The first poem in that volume, "The Pasture," opens:
I’M going out to clean the pasture spring;
I’ll only stop to rake the leaves away
(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):
I sha’n’t be gone long.—You come too.
The springs of Helicon, sacred to the muses? No, the farmer clears dead leaves from a slowly thawing pasture spring on his hard scrabble farm North of Boston. Maybe that is our role too, to clean the pasture spring, "And wait to watch the water clear." As philanthropic advisors, we cannot always inspire others, but we can "rake the leaves away."