longwood via kimberlyanncoyle.com

With a storm called “Titan” bearing down on the Northeast, I did the unthinkable. I promised, no, I assured my kids they wouldn’t have school Monday morning. You can imagine how the morning unfolded when we woke up to nary a snowflake and a full day of school ahead. It put another chink in the parenting armor, friends. This particular suit looks rather banged up these days.

We are desperate for spring, for fresh, non-arctic air and short sleeves and plump buds pushing up from the ground. We’ve seen enough of the same walls and had enough of our same old yes-you-have-to-wear-a-coat-at-the-bus-stop arguments.

This weekend, M and I visited Longwood Botanical Gardens and its 4 acres of greenhouse plantings. Orchids and lilies and mystery greens filled the glass rooms. The heavy fragrance of spring clung to the warm mist, and I caught my breath with the potency of it. The scent wrapped its way around my hair as I walked, and M stopped and took photos of me surrounded by vivid color. For a moment, with his eyes on me, I wished I was as un-self-conscious as the flowers.

We also visited the old DuPont mansion, Winterthur, and we heard the tales of nights spent around the grand piano, of dancing, and rooms filled with hundreds of cut blooms from their private gardens. I thought of all the life those rooms must have contained, the people and the parties that filled the home with music and chatter. Mr. DuPont–now there was a Titan, a true force of nature.

The rooms stand quiet now, save for the tourists who click-clack through. It is a museum, an homage to the greatness of a few wealthy men. The piano sits silent, but evidence of life bursts out in a flash of pink from a vase in the center. Our guide tells us Mr. DuPont’s gardens still bloom, a legacy of hard work and rich soil and the pulsing life held within the bud of a flower.