“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I learned about hard work from my father, who learned about it from his.

For 70 years, Vic Pinchin worked the land on his farm in Streetsville, Ontario. Over the years, seasons of lifting bushels of apples onto his rusty trailer bent his body almost in two. During my childhood, autumn revolved around the motions of apple-picking season, as I worked in the orchard alongside my family: moving ladders, picking apples, and pouring brimming baskets of fruit into bags.

I fell in love with the small miracle of watching apples grow. That ordinary act of creation planted this within me: With a seed, hard work, and a little bit of luck, you will always produce something of value.

When my grandfather passed away earlier this year, he left behind a world made better by his being in it. His was a life filled with love, hard work, and apples, and losing him made me realize I inherited more than his work ethic. I inherited his passion to create.

For him, it was the magic of an apple blossom transforming to fruit. For me, it is the wondrous process of dreaming up a software product, translating vision into design, shaping it with code, and watching that product change how we live.

Just as my grandfather did, I will use my time and energy to produce useful, beautiful, valuable things. Because this life is about what we create, and the ordinary, spectacular people that we create with.

— Veronica Pinchin