Happy 4th. This blog has a local emphasis but since all goodness is not concentrated in the Wissahickon Valley, some posts, like their author, may wander. In this case to Maine.
From where I have just returned from a vacation that featured two great, very different types of gardens: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens , and Monhegan Island.
I do not know how, but in just 5 years the first of these has managed to create a large, excellent public garden.
Monhegan, of course, is not a garden in the traditional sense. It is rather a small island of bleak but often breathtaking beauty. And just as it is set off from our ordinary world by the sea, much of it has been set off even farther, as an undevelopable preserve.
So there is a small village with a big, old-fashioned inn (the spire on the left)
of fishermen, artists, nature-lovers, workers and summer people. Then there is a large reserve of wild spaces
Through woods with fairy houses,
And onward to the highest cliffs on the Eastern Seaboard,
And then back,
Monhegan has all the magic of island light--light reflected up from the sea, down from the sky, and so diffused all around.
It is also sometimes a hint at that extra something that is often found in works of art, in great gardens, in spiritual and peak experiences,
--an island of light in an extraordinary world.
Since this is the United States of America's Bday, and the U.S. is a nation of immigrants, it seems fitting to celebrate one particular immigrant who has made this post possible.
Honest, adventurous, cooperative and energetic, eager to believe in, and exemplify what is best in our country, Mito reminds us to live up to the dreams our immigrant forefathers and mothers had for us. Whenever they came here, however they came here, I hope we can make them proud of what we have made of the country they have given us.