Everyone has heard of Imbolc, Brigid’s Day, Ground Hog’s Day, or Feast of Pan, it is known by many names because February 2nd is an important seasonal marker. Everyone feels the effects of this natural yin time of year with its decreased energy and sunlight. It is natural to feel tired and reflective during this time of year. A great way to prepare for a period of self-reflection is to remove yourself from your usual routine and get outside in nature. Our getaway was to Jackson, New Hampshire.
Jackson is a quaint little town, nicknamed New Hampshire’s Best Kept Secret. I don’t remember seeing a stop light in the whole town and we took turns driving across the one lane covered bridge. The scenery is breathtaking with mountain views and scenic parking all along the road in and out of Jackson, which is located in Mount Washington Valley. We spent time outside in the fresh air at Jackson XC. Learning how to Nordic Ski was exhilarating and a great way to clear out the winter cobwebs from the mind and body.
This is Mother Nature’s time of rest and preparation, before the burst of Spring. Making it a great time for reflection and rest for ourselves, in anticipation of the increased activity and excitement of springtime. Let’s try some reflection.
For this moment, let’s sit quietly, and just listen to Nature’s wisdom.
We traveled to Sleepy Hollow for a scary good time at Halloween. Lots of entertainment and the town joins in with the holiday fun. To think this all began as a short story written by Washington Irving.
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery was like an art museum. It was fun to explore and learn about the history of the town with the tour guide.
We visited several of the local tourist attractions including Sunnyside, Kykuit, and The Hudson Valley. There seemed to be an abundance of artistic flair where ever you looked. While viewing the Tappan Zee Bridge at sunset we were treated to an outline of New York City looming on the horizon. Just a reminder of how close and yet how far away reality seemed.
Look at the power of a story. It gave purpose and life to this little town. What is the story of your life? Are you having fun? If not, why not rewrite the story?
It’s late September and we just spent 4 days in Lenox and Stockbridge Massachusetts. Back to nature. The photo above was taken behind our hotel. This area was home to several artists and authors. While living here Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote “The House of Seven Gables”, Herman Melville wrote “Moby Dick”, Edith Wharton wrote “The House of Mirth”, Norman Rockwell and Daniel Chester French had studios for their work. It attracted many wealthy patrons looking to build ‘summer cottages’ in a town with a multicultural atmosphere. It became known as the “inland Newport”.
We visited a couple of the “Summer Cottages” that have been restored. The Mount was built and designed by Edith Wharton in 1902 with architects Ogden Codman Jr. and Francis L.V. Hoppin. The house, gardens and surrounding woods were created to compliment each other. This classical revival house represents the only full expression of Wharton’s architectural interests. The drive through the periwinkle clothed woods to the main house mimics the meandering of a brook through the woods.
Another beautiful example of The Gilded Age cottages in The Berkshires is the 1885 Naumkeag Museum and Gardens. Designed by Stanford White for Joseph Choate, noted attorney and Ambassador to the Court of St. James. The tour shares the love story connected to the 44-room summer cottage making the Choate family come to life. The landscaped gardens were designed by Fletcher Steele and Mabel Choate. Walk through the Moon Gate into the Chinese Gardens and stroll eight acres of landscaped gardens.
The Norman Rockwell Museum contains the world’s largest collection of original art by America’s favorite illustrator. The museum building and his last studio are set on a 36-acre landscape with scenic views. I have a new appreciation for his paintings and the stories they inspire. The sculptures on the grounds were created by his son.
Chesterwood, the summer estate of Daniel Chester French, sculptor of the seated Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial at Washington DC. We were able to tour the grounds, his work studio and home.
Until next time. Have a wonderful life filled with beautiful days.
In late August we took the new camera out of the box. I’m sharing the photos I enjoy the most. This is just a glimpse of Portsmouth. It is a town that is between Portland, Maine and Boston, Massachusetts in size, location and cost. All three locations share the charm of cobble stone streets, brick sidewalks, inspirational boutique shops and fabulous restaurants that make window shopping such a joy. Especially when holding an ice cream cone.
As you can see we had a lot of fun. Portsmouth is a great town to explore. The people are friendly, the atmosphere is artistic and energetic. At night the sidewalks come to life with people singing, playing instruments of all kinds and juggling while riding a unicycle. When you are learning something new, like taking pictures with a new camera, you tend to look at everything with fresh eyes. So, take your camera out of the box and explore. The world will soon be blooming around you.
Sharing My Blessings,
Copyright © WISDOM ROCK – Arts & Entertainment
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