We've just returned from two days of visiting the gardens of Henry du Pont at Winterthur in Delaware and Pierre du Pont at Longwood Gardens in Pennslyvania. But before I can tell you all about these visits I must settle something with myself. . . .
This year I've been reading one entry a week from the 52 essays in Alan Cohen's little book entitled Wisdom of the Heart. This week's, interestingly, is entitled "Resignation from Adulthood." Lest I give my readers the wrong impression I decided to re-title my post in a more positive tone.....but I love how he starts his essay. He said, "I've decided that I'd like to accept the responsibilities of an eight-year-old again. I want to go to McDonald's and think that it's a four-star restaurant." The reason this struck me is that I'd just written in my journal this morning about the B&B we'd stayed in the one night we were away. As you can see it was a very nice place. . . .
I loved the Palladian Window overlooking their lovely garden. . . .
Earlier I'd come down these stairs from the upper level of the Children's Garden to find a little girl dipping her hand into the mist coming out of this little pool. I remarked to her that she must be very courageous to stick her hand into something she couldn't see into. Her mother agreed and told me about some of her other daredevil adventures. . . .
Cohen says, "I want to think M & M's are better than money because you can eat them." I want to be able to say, "Getting away for a couple days and seeing new sights and experiencing new things is better than being comfortable."
Now that I've made my confession, over the next week I'll show you, through the eyes of the little child still in me, just how much fun I had. I won't mention the outrageous road and tunnel tolls, the traffic delays, the heat and humidity, the less-than-comfortable bed and weak coffee, the traffic noise, the inefficient timed-entry for the Winterthur house tour, the tent covering half of Winterthur while they replace storm windows, the disappointing atmosphere at the restaurant, or the extreme tiredness from traipsing all over more than 200 acres of gardens! Instead you'll hear about just how perfect the weather was when we needed it to be, the very helpful Longwood Garden worker, the delicious dinner, and shared pleasantries with strangers, along with a few other lovely things.
Until then, I'll leave you with more thoughts on childhood by Alan Cohen: "Children are magnificent teachers because they live in innocence. All of us are born in simplicity, but then we learn complexity. By watching children, we can reclaim the innocence we gave away. Kids live in the moment, play frequently, let their imaginations soar, ask for what they want, let their emotions rise and fall, laugh often, have no sense of shame, don't believe that they have to earn their good....They're in touch with their natural knowing and live fully from it. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. To do so, simply drop what you've been taught and remember what you know.....Simple delight beckons, Will you come home to it?"