Have you ever been to her home, The Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts? I was there in 2009 and it is simply divine. I had wanted to visit for many years and finally as a celebration of a professional accomplishment, I booked myself a trip to the charming village of Lenox.
Another day I was in her stables, which is where they hold lectures. It was quite lovely to look out over the grounds and listen to scholars.
I haven't even mentioned her gardens. Gardening was one of her great loves and the gardens at The Mount are stunning. In fact, she once said, "I am a better landscape gardener than a novelist". Very traditional, very ordered and symmetrical. I adored the allee. It was raining both days I visited, so I didn't have the supreme pleasure of walking through her gardens, but I clearly remember standing on the terrace, off to the side, calling my husband back in Florida and trying to describe the out-of-body feeling I was experiencing. I just wanted to stand there forever and look out over the wooded shores of Laurel Lake.
I am inspired every day by the divine Mrs. Wharton - her life and her writing. I have a photograph of her home as the wallpaper of my laptop, so I can gaze at it in moments of stress and turmoil and be taken back to a more gentler, civilized time - Wharton time.