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  • Betty Girardeau

Where Would You Choose to Be?


If I could choose to be anywhere in the world for just one day as part of my birthday celebration, where would it be? One particular thing that I associate with my birthday is flowers. Lilacs and Lilies of the Valley especially were usually in full bloom on my birthday when I was growing up, and I can still remember how wonderfully they smelled. Today my garden is a bit between my spring bloomers and my summer bloomers, mostly greens and buds. So I think that if I could go somewhere today I would like to return to Giverny and surround myself with the flowers that meant so much to Monet. One of the highlights of my trip to France in 2018 was going there. Yes, it was definitely crowded with people, but the layout of the gardens and the traffic patterns are well thought out to allow the visitor an opportunity most of the time to be in the midst of flowers rather than people. It is my kind of garden, a profusion of types and colors all commingling in a way that seems to be both unplanned and very natural. It is easy to understand why so many of Monet's paintings were inspired by his gardens. I would love to have this place just to myself today. I would take a book and a cup of tea and find a corner of the garden that especially "spoke" to me and settle in for the day. There would be a light warm breeze and occasionally a bee or two would buzz by on a pollen gathering trip. Birds could be heard chirping and singing to one another. There would be no need for other music. I would look up from my book from time to time and let my eyes wander over the beauty of my surroundings. And I would know that "God's in His heaven. All is right with the world." Where would you choose to go for your birthday? The image above was taken at Giverny and has been tweaked a bit to have a painterly look that more closely matches Monet's "The Garden of Monet at Argenteuil, 1873."

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