The "Art of Living," Originally posted June 20, 2015
Last night I dreamt I went to my Margaux again. STOP..."Margaux," REALLY?? I thought it was "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." And so it was, the brilliant first line of Daphne du Maurier's "Rebecca." But for me it was not "Manderlay" I dreamt of, it was "Margaux." Not a place of darkness and haunting danger, but a place of complete and utter peace, joy and laughter.
Let me tell you a bit about my "Margaux," my dream home. It is filled with breezes and the scent of magnolias. There are places throughout it to just sit and ponder. Time goes slowly here, like a feather wafting through the air. It is a place of gentleness and calm, but always poised for excitement, for the next "happening." Always welcoming, always embracing. A place to be and to go; filled with gentility.
But why "Margaux" you say? When you see the elegant oval plaque on the brick pillars topped by french-inspired bronze lanterns, it gives you pause before you turn into the drive. There is a huge tree ahead as you make that turn, an oak, proud and tall, enveloping and inviting. "Margaux" is a place that draws you to itself, a place that insists you put your burdens aside, a place that invites you to be your authentic self, just you...devoid of trappings...just you. It meets you where you are.
When you turn toward the house, you say to yourself, "oh a perfect "Gone with the Wind" house. But no, it is so much more than that. It is a lovely coral color, soothing and exciting at the same time. The wide porches surrounding the inner core invite talk and sleep, laughter and weeping. They speak of lingering, letting the emotions loose to the wind for healing and rebirth. "Margaux" is strong, a statement, able to comfort. It emanates strength, strength of self and strength of purpose. Every detail speaks of some piece of life drawn from past and present experiences. It is integrated.
And so you come up the steps to the porch of my beloved "Margaux" and I greet you with true happiness to see you, inviting you to accept "Margaux's" hospitality. You are drawn in and you feel "at home" at once. Enveloped and invited.
Why "Margaux" you say. What is it about that name? It is me, my name. It is the french name I took for myself in my freshman year's french class! I chose "Marguerite" then, a young and fun-loving girl's name, open to adventure and to life at its fullest, intrigued by the world. I have grown since then through the best and worst times (as Dickens would say!), and now I am not really "Marguerite" anymore. I am not so young, so naive, so carefree. But that has been my making. Maggie Smith, the Dowager Countess of Grantham in "Downton Abbey," delivers the most brilliant line: "Everyone has chapters in their lives they would rather keep unpublshed." So true for me and I suspect for all. "Margaux" is the evolution of all that, it is the present and the future. How exciting!