Day 3 Giverny
For as long as I can remember, my mother had a garden. And in that garden was a small iron plaque with the verse below. I learned many of life’s lessons in her garden. I learned that sometimes you have to wait for the seasons. I also learned that you have to prepare for the season. I learned that just like the flowers in her garden, life has a winter and a spring. Flowers suffer through the winter and then come back in all their glory in spring. My garden is what I miss most and where I felt my mother’s presence. Now my mother’s presence is in my heart and in Los Angeles in her grandson’s garden. Her presence and love lives in the birdbath that was a fixture in her garden for almost 40 years and for the next 20 in mine. And now in her grandson’s garden. I see her love and grace in the old roses that bloom in the spring, die in the winter and then come back to life in the spring. She would have loved Giverny.
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
                                                         -Dorothy Frances Gurney


Gigi, our driver, picked us up at 8:30 and we headed to Giverny where Claude Monet lived and painted for 40 years. Monet was a famous French painter whose work gave a name to the art movement Impressionism and is my favorite Impressionist. I love the flowers, the colors, the water. My bedroom on Merrie Way was painted “Monet blue.”

We stopped for pastries and coffee in a little village and did a quick stop at Chateau de La Roche Guyon built in the 12th century.

And then we arrived at Giverny! The gardens are spectacular! The lily pond is magical! The house is surrounded by a Japanese garden with green bridges, a small canal and a lake with the famous “ninphee” that you see in so many of his paintings. Walking through Monet’s beautiful gardens and past the lily pond surrounded by weeping willows, you feel like you are in one of his paintings. “It took me time to understand my water lilies. I had planted them for the pleasure of it; I grew them without ever thinking of painting them”. Monet’s water lilies were destined to become the most famous water lilies in the world.

I have daydreamed of walking and sitting in these gardens. There are plenty of benches dotted around the garden so that it is easy to sit and admire the view.

Monet lived in the house in Giverny for 43 years, from 1883 until his death in 1926. He died of lung cancer at the age of 86.

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